The KNM WT 17000 Paranthropus aethiopicus of ( imitation)

Paranthropus is a fossil genus of Hominini in the family of great apes ( Hominidae ). The Paranthropus species are counted to the group of Australopithecina and likely represent an evolutionary sideline to the genus Homo dar. Common features of these species are in particular their large molars.


The term is derived from ancient Greek Paranthropus ἄνθρωπος anthropos ( "man" ) and para ( " beside ", " notwithstanding "). Paranthropus therefore means " fellow man " meaning " located in the root tree next to the genus of man."


Paranthropus probably did not constantly erect, but moved at least temporarily, on all fours on. The brain volume is about 100 cm3 larger than that of today's chimpanzees and bonobos with about 500 cm3. Your height is not known, since no completely preserved leg or arm bones were discovered that allowed for a safe conclusion on the size; Estimates amount to a maximum of 1.50 m, which would correspond to about the size of upright extant chimpanzees. Paranthropus lived at the same time as the earliest members of the genus Homo.

The species of the genus Paranthropus, Australopithecus interpreted by some paleoanthropologists as a late species of the genus and sometimes referred to as " robust australopithecines ". One of its characteristics compared to the " graceful " Australopithecus species is an increasing anatomical specialization towards hartfaserige plant food. This is particularly evident in a solid design with large mandibular premolars and molars, and a bony crest on the skull roof, which served as an approach to a very pronounced jaw muscles. A 2011 published study came to the conclusion that Paranthropus boisei has reacted with about 77 ± 7 % more C4 plants in its metabolism than all previously investigated hominids and was consequently specialized in the consumption of grasses. For the date of the first occurrence of Paranthropus aethiopicus before 2.8 million years a change in their dentition has been demonstrated (thickening of the enamel ) also for several other species, further evidence of more frequent droughts in what is now southern Ethiopia.

Computed tomographic analysis of the interior of the skull bones revealed that the internal morphological features of Paranthropus robustus and Paranthropus boisei are identical and both therefore closely related sister species were, their characteristics significantly different from Australopithecus africanus. Paranthropus robustus and Paranthropus boisei are therefore more closely related to each other than with Paranthropus aethiopicus.


  • Paranthropus aethiopicus lived about 2.8 to 2.3 million years ago in East Africa.
  • Paranthropus boisei lived a million years ago, about 2.3 to 1.4 in East Africa.
  • Paranthropus robustus lived a million years ago, about 2.0 to 1.5 inches in South Africa.

From when to when there was a fossil species, however, can only be approximated in most cases. For one, the fossil record is patchy: there are usually very few copies for a fossil Article On the other hand, the dating methods, although a certain age from, but this with a significant inaccuracy; this inaccuracy then forms the outer limits in the "from ... to " information for lifetimes. All published age data are therefore preliminary datings, which also claimed the discovery of more copies may need to be revised.

May also include the Fossil BOU-VP-12/130 - the type specimen of Australopithecus Garhi - the same form as the circle fossils asked to Paranthropus aethiopicus; thereto indicate common features of the discovered lower jaw. If this is the case, identified as Australopithecus Garhi fossils should be renamed and called Paranthropus aethiopicus.

Some paleoanthropologists the species of the genus Paranthropus the genus Australopithecus are attributed and then logically as Australopithecus aethiopicus, Australopithecus robustus and Australopithecus boisei called.