Australopithecus anamensis1 is the earliest species of this genus to have been found. Fossils attributed to A. anamensis have been recovered from sediments dating to between 3.8 and 4.2 mya at the sites of Kanapoi and Allia Bay in northern Kenya. A. anamensis is still poorly known in comparison with other early hominid species, but the material discovered so far displays primitive features along with more derived characteristics typical of later Australopithecus species. This mix of features suggests that A. anamensis belongs near the ancestry of this genus. Indeed, it may eventually be determined that this was the earliest Australopithecus species. © 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.