Comparison of 3 Australopithecines

882 words 4 pages
Kourtney Baley
Professor Marcom
Anthropology 2:30-3:50
April 17, 2011
A Comparison of Three Australopithecines

Just to make it fair for all readers , the Australopithecus is the genus of Pliocene and Pleistocene hominids. A major characteristic of a hominid is bipedal locomotion or walking upright on two legs. Several types of Australopithecines have been found but all lived Africa mostly east Africa about four million years ago. The Australopithecus is the first definite hominid but they all slightly differ in their features. All species of the Australopithecus can be split into either a gracile or robust australopithecine. The gracile group consists of species with smaller dentition and lighter facial features and includes the
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The projecting face of the africanus is surronded by moderate brow ridges. Some of the characteristics resemble that of the australppithecus afarensis and of modern humans. The large chinless jaw of the africanus resembles the afarensis and but a few dental features represent humans. The dental structure of the Australopithecus africanus dental structure consists of broad incisors and short canines and large premolars and molars but they form and havet he same function of humans. The africanus was the first of the australopithecine species ever found. The first fossil was found in Taung Cave on the edge of the Kalahari Desert (South Africa) in 1924 by Raymond Dart. The fossil is known as the “Southern Ape of Africa” and we now know that the speciman died when it was only three and a half years old.
The Australopithecus afarensis lived three to four million years ago in East Africa. The Australopithecus afarensis is the most well represented type of autralopithicine so we know the most about them. In fact, the famous “Lucy” fossil who lived in a semiarid, upland savanna with dry and rainy seasons,is a member of the species Australopithecus aferensis.The afarensis is very similar to the australopithecus africanus in height in weight, and like the africanus as well they are sexually dimorphic. The female Australopithecus afarensis was about sixty-five puonds and three feet tall,