JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Homind fossil skulls of the australopithecine group showing examples of the two 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 centre 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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