Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
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13-12-2012, 06:04 PM
Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
I have recently read in Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald C. Johanson--the discoverer of "Lucy"--that Australopithecus africanus was the ancestor of the robust australopithecines, or Paranthropus. He says this based upon on tooth size and morphology. Quite frankly, I think he's right, however, it is generally believed today that africanus was a direct ancestor of today's humans.

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13-12-2012, 06:11 PM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
(13-12-2012 06:04 PM)The Pastafarian Wrote:  I have recently read in Lucy: The Beginnings of Humankind by Donald C. Johanson--the discoverer of "Lucy"--that Australopithecus africanus was the ancestor of the robust australopithecines, or Paranthropus. He says this based upon on tooth size and morphology. Quite frankly, I think he's right, however, it is generally believed today that africanus was a direct ancestor of today's humans.
Maybe he is correct however this is how the cladogram points it out.
[Image: Cladistic_analysis_of_early_hominins.png]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranthropus

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13-12-2012, 06:29 PM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
I found a better chart

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13-12-2012, 06:32 PM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
(13-12-2012 06:11 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Maybe he is correct however this is how the cladogram points it out.
[Image: Cladistic_analysis_of_early_hominins.png]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paranthropus

But according to that cladogram, isn't the most recent common ancestor of paranthropines and Australopithecus africanus Paranthropus aethiopicus? If so, how is africanus an Australopithecus, if it descended from paranthropines?

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13-12-2012, 10:20 PM (This post was last modified: 14-12-2012 07:31 AM by Janus.)
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
Imo Ardi was the first ancestor that left Africa and migrated to central Asia 4 MYA. Then around 2,1 MYA their evolved descendants, an erect ardipithecine, went into a diaspora from central Asia with the emphasis on a western and south-western migration. This last branch crossed back into Africa and of course hybridized with what it found. Mainly A. Sediba. But not exclusively. Thus arose Homo erectus, parts of which went out of Africa again around 1,9 MYA (Dmanisi Man) and went on to explore all the continents (except Antarctica) within 1 million years*. The remaining HE in Africa eventually evolved into Homo sapiens sapiens which left Africa in 2 waves: 104 KYA and 72 KYA. Both of which re-hybridized with HE (Papua, Oz Aboriginals, Melanesians. and the Irish of course Big Grin ) when they met 'm.

*H. Erectus was in Georgia (Caucasus) 1,87 MYA, in Malaysia 1,82 MYA, in Java 1,57 MYA, in Bejing 800 KYA, in Valsequillo 500 KYA.

H. Erectus was the granddaddy of us all and the original hominid conqueror of the planet. Not H. Sapiens Sapiens.

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14-12-2012, 09:46 AM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
Realize that human evolution cladograms are all different because the field is so competitive for people trying to make a big discovery. Every time they find something, they want to completely alter some portion of the cladogram to fit their discovery as a major impact.

Several of the fossils have even changed genera multiple times, so it really is quite difficult.

I think the basic story is that the Austraolpithicines gave rise to the robust Australopithicines and the group that would eventually become humans.

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14-12-2012, 11:14 AM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
huh? ... oog ... grunt ...

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01-01-2013, 10:06 PM (This post was last modified: 01-01-2013 10:13 PM by Janus.)
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
(14-12-2012 09:46 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I think the basic story is that the Austraolpithicines gave rise to the robust Australopithicines and the group that would eventually become humans.


Afaik the robust Australopithecines were specialized veganists (nuts and hard fruits) who consequently went extinct when climates and flora see-sawed dramatically in the Rift Valley's climatic 'evolution pump' (driven by tectonics and volcanism). And the robust Australopithecines simply couldn't adapt fast enough.
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02-01-2013, 09:42 AM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
(01-01-2013 10:06 PM)Janus Wrote:  
(14-12-2012 09:46 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  I think the basic story is that the Austraolpithicines gave rise to the robust Australopithicines and the group that would eventually become humans.


Afaik the robust Australopithecines were specialized veganists (nuts and hard fruits) who consequently went extinct when climates and flora see-sawed dramatically in the Rift Valley's climatic 'evolution pump' (driven by tectonics and volcanism). And the robust Australopithecines simply couldn't adapt fast enough.
Or they were out competed. But climate probably did play a bigger role.

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03-01-2013, 05:05 PM
RE: Is Australopithecus africanus an Australopith or a Paranthropine?
It took me about 10 minutes to accurately decipher the title of this thread. lol

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