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Paranthropus aethiopicus
Paranthropus aethiopicus
Bradshaw Foundation Origins Archive
 
Paranthropus aethiopicus or Australopithecus aethiopicus is an extinct species of hominid, one of the robust australopithecines. The finding discovered in 1985 by Alan Walker in West Turkana, Kenya, is known as the 'Black Skull' due to the dark coloration of the bone, caused by high levels of manganese. Paranthropus aethiopicus is one of the earliest examples of robust pliocene hominids.
PARANTHROPUS AETHIOPICUS
PARANTHROPUS AETHIOPICUS
Paranthropus aethiopicus Kenya Africa
Genus: Paranthropus
Species: Paranthropus aethiopicus
Other Names: Black Skull
Time Period: 2.7 to 2.5 million years ago
Characteristics: Robust
Fossil Evidence: 'Black Skull', West Turkana, Kenya, Africa

PARANTHROPUS AETHIOPICUS

 
Paranthropus aethiopicus
Paranthropus aethiopicus
The skull is dated to 2.5 million years ago, older than the later forms of robust australopithecines. Anthropologists suggest that Paranthropus aethiopicus lived between 2.7 and 2.5 million years ago. The features are quite primitive and share many traits with Australopithecus afarensis; thus Paranthropus aethiopicus may be a direct descendant.
 
Paranthropus aethiopicus is thought to have lived in mixed savanna and woodland, and although little else can be surmised due to the lack of fossil evidence, this species is believed to be on an evolutionary branch of the hominid tree, distinctly diverging from the Homo lineage.