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Australopithecus Robustus

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by

Morah Riedl

on 3 December 2013

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Transcript of Australopithecus Robustus

Australopithecus Robustus
Physical Characteristics
Sexual dimorphism
- Males were on average 4 feet 4 inches and 92 pounds. Females 3 feet 7 inches and 71 pounds.

Bone Features-
expressed megadontia,

flaring zygomatics,

sagittal crest,

500-600 cc cranial
capacity,

and large
mandible.
Diet
Aust. Robustus are considered to be omnivorous, though their thick enamel, large mandibles and bone structure that supports jaw strength, show they had the capacity to eat roots and harder vegetation. Researchers have also found animal proteins and evidence of frugivory diets and insectivory diets. "The P. Robustus microwear complexity distribution suggests that individuals ate hard objects only on occasion...falling back on lower-quality, tough foods during times when preferred soft, sugar-rich items are unavailable," (Spoonheimer &
Ungar, 2011, p.193).

'Paranthropines'
"Some scientists think that the
robust australopithecines are so different that they should be placed in their own genus,
Paranthropus
...these species share an adaptive plateau that separates them from other related species. Proponents of the use of
Paranthropus
argue that the specialized chewing apparatus of the robustus is evidence of such an adaptive plateau," (Stanford, Allen
& Anton, p. 330-331).
First Fossils
Found in 1938 in Kromdraai, South Africa. Remains included skull fragments, teeth, and skeleton fragments.
Eurydice
- found in 1994 in the Drimolen cave site in South Africa. A nearly complete skull.
Orpheus-
also found in 1994 at the same site. A lower jaw resting close to Eurydice.
Characteristics
Derived Primitive

flatter face
hand morphology
that allows
tool use
lower limb
adaptions for
bipedalism
smaller
incisors

thick enamel
prognathic faces
sagittal crest
megadont cheeks
larger zygomatics
Extinction
Some scientists believe that
the Aust. Robustus' diet was
what led them to extinction in
the Pleistocene when Africa's climate became dryer and more seasonal. However, Spoonhiemer believes it could be due to a slower reproductive rate than the up and coming Homo. "One thing I do believe is that we need to seriously re-think the reason behind the ultimate fate of Paranthropus," said Sponheimer. "This 'who done it' or 'what done it' mystery is not likely to be resolved any time soon."
My Remodel of Paranthropus
Full transcript