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Australopithecus

[aw-strey-loh-pith-i-kuh s, -puh-thee-kuh s, aw-struh-]
noun
  1. an extinct genus of small-brained,large-toothed bipedal hominids that lived in Africa between one and four million years ago.
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Origin of Australopithecus

< New Latin (1905), equivalent to austral(is) austral1 + -o- -o- + pithēcus < Greek píthēkos ape
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for australopithecus

Australopithecus

n.

1925, coined by Australian anthropologist Raymond A. Dart (1893-1988) from Latin australis "southern" (see Australia) + Greek pithekos "ape." So called because first discovered in South Africa.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

australopithecus in Culture

Australopithecus

[(aw-stray-loh-pith-i-kuhs, aw-stray-loh-pi-thee-kuhs)]

An extinct genus of the hominid family that lived in Africa from about three to one million years ago. The name means “southern ape.”

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Note

Members of this genus were the ancestors of modern humans. One of the best-known fossils, Lucy, was a member of this genus.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.