The earliest known member of the genus, A. anamensis, existed in eastern Africa 4.2 million years ago. Australopithecus fossils were found in eastern and southern Africa before the genus went extinct 1.9 mya, suggesting that it was much more widespread than previously thought (the Chadian A. bahrelghazali implies the genus becomedrasticallyextraconsiderable than the fossil report indicated) (or 1.2 to 0.6 million years in the past if Paranthropus is included). Sometime between three and two million years ago, the genus Homo descended from a species of Australopithecus, despite the fact that none of the groups traditionally associated with this classification system have persisted to the present day.
Two of the three copies of SRGAP2 discovered in Australopithecus between 3.4 and 2.4 million years ago (SRGAP2B and SRGAP2C) played a role in the expansion and migration of neurons in the human brain. Evidence from later A. afarensis fossils suggests big changes in hand size occurred around 3 million years ago (hands shortened relative to thumb and adjustments to the joints among the index finger and the trapezium and capitate).
Brain size among Australopithecus species was typically 35 percent smaller than that of modern humans, with an average endocranial volume of 466 cc (28.four cu in). Earlier australopiths (A. anamensis) appear to have been in the chimpanzee range, whereas later australopith specimens have a larger endocranial amount than that of several early Homo fossils. Although that is larger than the typical 360 cc brain size of a chimpanzee (22 cu in).
A median height of 1.2 to 1.4 meters is characteristic of the vast majority of Australopithecus species (threetoeseleven in to fourtoes 7 in). They likely exhibited substantial sexual dimorphism, with males being far larger than females.
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