The Gracile Australopithecines

The gracile australopithecines played a more significant role in hominid evolution than did the robust forms.  An example of a gracile australopithecine is Australopithecus africanus.  This species comes from South Africa and has been dated between 3 million years ago and 2 million years ago.  This form is different from A. afarensis by its larger cranial capacity.  A. Africanus has not been found associated with any significant evidence of tool utilization.  It is debated if Australopithecus africanus arose from Australopithecus afarensis or separately as a sister species.  This has topic is discussed in previous pages.

Here is a timeline which will help put things in perspective.