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Australopithecus robustus skull

Australopithecus robustus skull

E437/0107

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Credit

JAVIER TRUEBA / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAVIER TRUEBA / MSF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Skull of Australopithecus robustus, front view. A. robustus was a bipedal hominin (human-like primate) that lived in Africa between 2.6 and 1 million years ago; the species is an extinct relative of humans. A. robustus was short and stocky with substantial ridges on the skull suggesting it had powerful jaw muscles and a vegetarian diet. There is some disagreement over whether robustus is an australopithecine, or whether it belongs in its own genus, Paranthropus. This specimen, known as SK-48, is one of the most complete examples of an A. robustus skull. It was discovered in Swartkrans, a cave site in South Africa.

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