|1.||See also zinjanthropus 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 old|
|2.||of or relating to any of these primates|
|[C20: from New Latin Australopithecus, from Latin austrālis southern, |
|an obscure term ostensibly referring to a lung disease caused by silica dust, sometimes cited as one of the longest words in the English language.|
|(used as a nonsense word by children to express approval or to represent the longest word in English.)|
|australopithecine (ô-strā'lō-pĭth'ĭ-sēn') Pronunciation Key
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.