[aw-strey-loh-pith-uh-seen, -sahyn, -puh-thee-sin, -sahyn, aw-struh-]
- (sometimes initial capital letter) a member of the extinct genus Australopithecus.
- of, relating to, or resembling the genus Australopithecus or its members.
Origin of australopithecine
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- any of various extinct apelike primates of the genus Australopithecus and related genera, remains of which have been discovered in southern and E Africa. Some species are estimated to be over 4.5 million years oldSee also zinjanthropus
- of or relating to any of these primates
Word Origin for australopithecine
C20: from New Latin Australopithecus, from Latin austrālis southern, austral 1 + Greek pithēkos ape
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
- Any of several early hominids of the genus Australopithecus of eastern and southern Africa, known from fossils dating from about 4 million to about 1 million years ago. The most complete australopithecine skeleton found so far, named Lucy by its discoverers, is estimated to be just over 3 million years old. While many scientists believe that australopithecines are ancestors of modern humans, not enough fossils have yet been found to establish any direct descent.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.