23. Australopithecus and Kenyanthropus
- David R. Begun
Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
Copyright © Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
A Companion to Paleoanthropology
How to Cite
Hammond, A. S. and Ward, C. V. Australopithecus and Kenyanthropus, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch23
- Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
Print ISBN: 9781444331165
Online ISBN: 9781118332344
This chapter explores the species characterized as “non-robust australopiths”: Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus africanus, and Australopithecus sediba, and also discusses Kenyanthropus platyops. Even though Australopithecus may not be a proper genus because all species do not share a unique common ancestor with each other, it certainly represents a successful adaptive radiation of hominins. The chapter reviews the common features of the australopith grade, and explores variation within this early hominin radiation. The genus Australopithecus was originally defined by Dart as “intermediate between living anthropoids and man”. Kenyanthropus platyops is a species known only from two specimens from the Lomekwi locality in west Turkana, Kenya. Many of K. platyops features (e.g., three-rooted p3, small acoustic porus, thin palate) are found within Australopithecus.