Fossils of the australopithecine group

Fossils of the australopithecine group

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Credit: JOHN READER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hominid fossils of the australopithecine group showing an example of each of the two distinct types. At top is a gracile australopithecine, Australopithecus africanus (STS 5) known as Mrs Ples & found by Robert Broom at Sterkfontein, South Africa in 1936. At bottom is a robust australopithecine, A. robustus (SK 48) found by Broom & J.T. Robinson at Swartkrans, South Africa in 1949. Gracile australopithecines were lightly built & omnivorous; robust australopithecines were heavily built & vegetarian. This group represents the oldest hominids discovered to date. They are thought to have lived from 3.7 to 1.6 million years ago and ranged throughout most of Africa.

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Keywords: anthropology, australopithec, australopithecine, australopithecus africanus, australopithecus robustus, earliest man, example of, fossil man, hominid, hominid fossil, hominids, hominin, human fossil, palaeoanthropology, palaeontology, paleoanthropology, paleontology, s.african finds, south africa

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