Keywords |
  • Palaeontology


There are 2 genera of hominids: the genus Australopithecus and the genus Homo.

Australopiths (etymologically "apes from the south", because they are only found in Africa) are divided into several groups:

- "ancestral" australopiths (over 3 million years) such as Lucy, who belongs to the species Australopithecus afarensis;

- gracile australopiths, which belong to the species Australopithecus africanus and lived between 3 and 1.2 million years ago. They were larger than their predecessors (an average of 1.25 m) with brains that measured 500 cm3. They lived alongside other australopiths and the first humans;

- robust australopiths (Australopithecus robustus) lived between 2.5 and 1 million years ago. They were rather large (about 1.40 m).

The genus Homo, or the first humans

Definition of human: a bipedal primate capable of expressing conceptual thought (notably capable of producing tools).

Homo habilis

Homo erectus

Homo sapiens neanderthalensis

Homo sapiens sapiens.


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