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Social Life of A. afarensis

Review basic information about A. afarensis as well as a variety of websites. Write an essay describing a day in the life of this early hominin.

Basic Information

Figure 7-11a (20.0K)
Figure 7-11b (42.0K)
Figure 7-18 (51.0K)

We know the following things about A. afarensis:

  • Australopithecus afarensis fossils are found in areas that, during the period of 4-3 mya, were primarily mixed savanna and woodland environments.
  • A. afarensis appear to have eaten fruits, leaves, nuts or grains, and some tubers and roots. How much animal matter did they consume? Probably not too much.
  • We do not have any direct evidence that these early hominins modified stone, bone, or wood to use as tools, but there is strong comparative evidence to suggest that at least some tool use was likely.
  • They appear to have had significant sexual dimorphism in body size but not in canine size.
  • They most likely lived in groups consisting of several adults plus young.


General Information: A. afarensis

Gorilla Study Gives Social Clues

Australopithecus afarensis: The Story of Lucy

Combine insights from chapter 5 and 7 to describe a day in the life of a young Australopithecus afarensis. Start with waking up in the morning and work through the day and night.

Biological AnthropologyOnline Learning Center

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