[aw-strey-loh-pith-i-kuhs, -puh-thee-kuhs, aw-struh-]
an extinct genus of small-brained,large-toothed bipedal hominids that lived in Africa between one and four million years ago.

< Neo-Latin (1905), equivalent to austral(is) austral + -o- -o- + pithēcus < Greek píthēkos ape Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

1925, coined by Australian anthropologist Raymond A. Dart (1893-1988) from L. australis "southern" + Gk. pithekos "ape." So called because first discovered in South Africa.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
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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