6 MYBP, which contain australopithecines
, often include worked stone implements.
of New York, Stony Brook) discusses what has been learned about the evolutionary history of the "robust" australopithecines
in the previous 50 years.
While that's still one theory, Brown now leans toward the more striking idea that Flores man represents a direct link to the much more ancient australopithecines
, a notion that raises all sorts of interesting speculation because australopithecine
fossils have never been found outside of Africa.
Lucy", one of a group of creatures called australopithecines
, had short stubby legs and a wide pelvis.
Ample evidence has shown that australopithecines
were walking upright by this time, but the first traces of this skeleton - the four bones of an instep and beginning of the big toe - suggested that this species also was capable of grasping and climbing like a chimpanzee.
We finally have evidence of what was long suspected, that australopithecines
used humanlike hand proportions to handle objects in humanlike ways," comments anthropologist Brian Richmond of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Professor Vincent Balter of the Geological Laboratory of Lyon in France, suggests that up until two millions years ago in South Africa, the Australopithecines
were generalists, but gave up their broad niche to Paranthropus and Homo, both being more specialised than their common ancestor.
As evolutionary intermediates between apes and humans, the australopithecines
form a prominent part of that lineage, and their anatomy is a beautiful illustration of the anatomical transition from ape to human.
2001), evolving through the Australopithecines
, and leading to the evolution of the genus Homo after 2.
It is thought more likely to be a distant cousin, more advanced than the ape-like australopithecines
but not as "human" as the later Homo erectus.
The first display shows our earliest-known ancestor - Australopithecines
As the oldest fossil associated with tools, the find strengthens the idea that direct ancestors of modern humans, rather than a closely related group known as the australopithecines
, developed toolmaking between 2 million and 3 million years ago.
Researchers generally agree that small-brained members of the human evolutionary family, known as australopithecines
, evolved into the first representative of the Homo line between 3 million and 2 million years ago.
The skeleton makes sense if australopithecines
slept in trees at night to escape predators, as chimps do today.
The section on hominin evolution does an excellent job of working through the now quite bushy hominin evolutionary tree, beginning before australopithecines
and including such recent additions as Homo floresiensis.