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Where Lived: Southern Africa (South Africa)

When Lived: About 1.8 to 1.2 million years ago

Paranthropus robustus is an example of a robust australopithecine; they had huge, broad megadont cheek teeth with thick enamel and focused their chewing in the back of the jaw. Large zygomatic arches allowed the passage of large chewing muscles to the jaw and gave P. robustus individuals their characteristically wide, dish-shaped face. A large sagittal crest provided a large area to anchor these chewing muscles to the skull. These adaptations provided P. robustus with the ability of grinding down tough, fibrous foods. It is now known that ‘robust’ refers solely to tooth and face size, not to the body size of P. robustus.

Unreviewed

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© Human Origins Program

Supplier: Human Origins Program NMNH

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