A genus of extinct hominins known from Pliocene and early Pleistocene fossil remains found in Africa, characterized by relatively small brain size and evidence of bipedalism. Several species are known, including A. afarensis, dating from four to three million years ago, of which Lucy is the best-known specimen.
Origin of australopithecus
- New Latin Austrālopithēcus genus name Latin austrālis southern (because fossil remains of the genus were first found in South Africa) austral Greek pithēkos ape (of unknown origin)
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition