Australopithecus in Ethiopia

Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)


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.


Australopithecus afarensis Australopithecus anamensis Australopithecus garhi 



I thank the organizers of the Stony Brook Human Evolution Symposium—Richard Leakey, John Fleagle and Kaye Reed—for inviting me and making my participation possible. This review article has benefited from discussions with the participants, to whom I am grateful. I thank Fred Spoor, René Bobe and Charles Lockwood for commenting on versions of this contribution and Bonnie Warren for editorial help. Thanks to Scott Simpson, Kaye Reed and John Fleagle for comments.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyCalifornia Academy of SciencesSan FranciscoUSA

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