24. Paranthropus

  1. David R. Begun
  1. Bernard Wood and
  2. Kes Schroer

Published Online: 14 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch24

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

A Companion to Paleoanthropology

How to Cite

Wood, B. and Schroer, K. (2013) Paranthropus, in A Companion to Paleoanthropology (ed D. R. Begun), Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118332344.ch24

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 JAN 2013
  2. Published Print: 25 FEB 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444331165

Online ISBN: 9781118332344



  • Australopithecus;
  • Paranthropus;
  • Paranthropus monophyly;
  • Paranthropus taxa


This chapter reviews various ways by which the genus Paranthropus has and is being interpreted, and explains the importance of this junior synonym of Australopithecus in the field. A table in this chapter lists the site, age of remains, dating method, and nature of evidence of Paranthropus discovered in East and southern Africa. It also lists the Paranthropus taxa, which includes Paranthropus aethiopicus, Paranthropus boisei, and Paranthropus robustus. Some researchers have suggested that Homo and Paranthropus may be sister taxa. That is they shared a most recent common ancestor not shared with any other hominin taxon. Different studies have found support for Paranthropus monophyly. Most of the present cladistic evidence is in favor of monophyly. If one is comfortable with the conclusion that hard-tissue morphology is capable of recovering phylogenetic relationships established on the basis of independent genetic evidence, then Paranthropus monophyly must be the hypothesis of choice.