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While that's still one theory, Brown now leans toward the more striking idea that Flores man represents a direct link to the much more ancient australopithecines, a notion that raises all sorts of interesting speculation because australopithecine fossils have never been found outside of Africa.
Ample evidence has shown that australopithecines were walking upright by this time, but the first traces of this skeleton - the four bones of an instep and beginning of the big toe - suggested that this species also was capable of grasping and climbing like a chimpanzee.
Such a comparison can be used to test two competing claims that can be treated as testable hypotheses: (1) the consensus among mainstream scientists that australopithecine anatomy is intermediate between those of apes and humans and (2) the young-earth creationist claim that australopithecines are "just apes," unrelated to humans (Mehlert, 2000; Line, 2005; Murdock, 2006).
Chimpanzee hand morphology cannot sustain the gamut of finessed grips; australopithecine and H.
The australopithecine cobble from Makapansgat, South Africa.
Researchers generally agree that small-brained members of the human evolutionary family, known as australopithecines, evolved into the first representative of the Homo line between 3 million and 2 million years ago.
One cannot, however, exclude the possibility that australopithecines may have had some form of communication, including the use of sounds.
In Johannesburg, I had the privilege of working closely with James Kitching, the vastly experienced palaeontologist working on the Makapansgat Australopithecine deposits.
Despite the overwhelming lack of palaeoanthropological fieldwork outside of Europe and the complete lack of an australopithecine or pithecanthropine grade fossil record within it, he suggested that because `the archaeological evidence of man's antiquity in Europe is more extensive and complete than for any other continent .
This australopithecine may have acquired brucellosis by eating fetal tissue from a similar animal, according to D'Anastasio.
afarensis, in a roughly 2-million-year-old robust australopithecine species known as Australopithecus robustus, and in modern gorillas, the researchers report in an upcoming Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
In southern Africa the first Australopithecine had been named at Taung but sidelined by Sussex's joker at Piltdown.