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 Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, and Australopithecus africanus. The robust australopithecines have a larger dentition than the gracile with a massive jaw and face. The three species of robust australopithecines consist of the early Australopithecus aethiopicus and then the Australopithecus boisei and Australopithecus robustus. Three different types of Australopithecines will be compared and analyzed in this paper to review evidence for bipedalism and characteristics; two of the three australopithecines will be a part of the gracile group the Australopithecus africanus and Australopithecus afarensis then one from the robust is the Australopithecus boisei. To describe the Australopithecus boisei, a member of the Australopithecus Robustus, one would start by describing their extreme facial features such as a huge jaw and cheekbones and end a sagittal crest. The Australopithecus boisei lived about 2.3 to 1 million years ago and sometimes went through periods of dry periods where there adaptations would help them such as “It’s cranium and mandible appear built to resist the stresses associated with heavy chewing, and provide copious attachment areas for massive muscles of mastication”(Unger1). The cranium and...