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Australopithecus africanus is an extinct species of australopithecine, the first species to be described. In common with the older Australopithecus afarensisA. africanus was of slender build, or gracile, and was thought to have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. Fossil remains indicate that A. africanus was significantly more like modern humans than A. afarensis, with a more human-like cranium permitting a larger brain and more humanoid facial features.[2] A. africanus has been found only in southern Africa at four sites: Taung (1924), Sterkfontein (1935), Makapansgat (1948) and Gladysvale (1992).

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