Forming the Robust Australopithecine Face

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  09 Apr 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5412, pp. 230-231
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5412.230b

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution


On the basis of their many facial similarities, recent analyses have concluded that the three species of robust australopithecines that roamed the savannas of Africa some 2 million years ago form their own small hominid family. Now on page 301, an anatomist offers a new explanation for why these hominids look the way they do--and suggests that they may not be so closely related after all. She argues that the shared facial traits are the developmental consequences of a single character--a unique combination of cow-sized molars and small front teeth.