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[aw-strey-loh-pith-i-kuh s, -puh-thee-kuh s, aw-struh-] /ɔˌstreɪ loʊˈpɪθ ɪ kəs, -pəˈθi kəs, ˌɔ strə-/
an extinct genus of small-brained,large-toothed bipedal hominids that lived in Africa between one and four million years ago.
Origin of Australopithecus
< New Latin (1905), equivalent to austral(is) austral1 + -o- -o- + pithēcus < Greek píthēkos ape Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Word Origin and History for Australopithecus

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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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.”

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 American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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