Chapter

The Paleobiology of Australopithecus

Part of the series Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology pp 63-71

Date:

Australopithecus in Ethiopia

  • Zeresenay AlemsegedAffiliated withDepartment of Anthropology, California Academy of Sciences Email author 

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Abstract

Australopithecus in Ethiopia is currently represented by three species: Australopithecus anamensis, Australopithecus afarensis and Australopithecus garhi ranging in age from about 4.2 to 2.5 Ma. The genus is encountered from Hadar and environs in the North to Fejej in the southernmost part of the country. The relationship among the three species appears to be an anagenetic link going from the oldest to the youngest, but there is not enough evidence to relate the genus directly to any known ancestral species, which renders its origin difficult to pinpoint. Of the three, A. afarensis is by far the best known in terms of its paleobiology and paleoecology, and further research is required to reconnoiter the paleobiology of A. anamensis and A. garhi as well as to shed light on the ancestor of the genus in general.

Keywords

Australopithecus afarensis Australopithecus anamensis Australopithecus garhi