Paranthropus Robustus

(Australopithecus Robustus)- A Gorilla-Like Lifestyle

When did they Exist?

  • Australopithecus Robustus were alive about 2 to 1.2 Million Years ago.

Who Discovered It?

  • Australopithecus Robustus was discovered by Dr. Robert Broom in 1938.
  • Africanus was from genus Homo
  • Excavated skull looked alot like africanus with "robust" features
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Fossil Evidence?

  • "Heavy Chewing Machine".
  • Hard and tough teeth.
  • Robust refers to the tooth and face size.
  • South Africa- remains of Robustus found... Large brain and big teeth
  • Closer body shape to the gorilla than to the human.
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Varied Diet

  • Australopithecus Robustus had a very varied diet including fruits and nuts, grasses, seeds and animals.
  • Since they had tough jaws and teeth, they ate tough vegetation.
  • The meat they ate was in limited amounts because they lived in open grasslands.
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Open Grassland Near a Water Source. Fossils found in South Africa near Bloubank Valley of South Africa, including Swartkrans, Sterkfontein, Kromdraai, and Coopers.
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  • Did not manufacture stone tools, but they may have used sticks or unmodified stone to break nuts and seeds.
  • May have lived in social groups based around a dominant male and several females, similar to modern gorillas.

Australopithecus Robustus 2

Possible Descendants

The ancestry of Paranthropus robustus is debated. Some consider it to have evolved from Paranthropus walkeri. Others think the ancestor of Paranthropus robustus may have been Australopithecus africanus.

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Cause of extinction?

So what led to the end of the line for Australopithecus? It could well have been direct competition with Homo -- which was becoming skilled in extensive bone and stone technology -- or it could have been a variety of other issues, including a slower reproductive rate for Australopithecus than for Homo.

Natural Selection favored Homo over them.