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Paranthropus, the beside human creature

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Paranthropus, the beside human creature

Paranthropus is thought to be bipedal based on its anatomical structure in its hips, legs, and feet that resemble both its ancestor, Australopithecus afarensis, and modern humans.

Most believe that early Homo was the tool maker, but hand fossils from Swartkrans, South Africa, indicate that the hand of Paranthropus robustus was also adapted for precision grasping and tool use.

Most Paranthropus species seem almost certainly not to have used language nor to have controlled fire, although they are directly associated with the latter at Swartkrans.

The pelvis is similar to A. afarensis but the hip joint, including the femoral head and acetabulum are smaller in Paranthropus. The similar hip structure between A. afarensis and Paranthropus implies that they had a similar walking gait, and that Paranthropus moved like the ”gracile australopiths”.

They show anatomical similarity to modern humans in the big toe of their foot and their well developed plantar aponeurosis. The hallux metatarsal shows increased base for more internal support, and more distal articular surface which causes more connection and support to the other bones in the foot.

The extra support in the big toe and extensive plantar aponeurosis shows that Paranthropus had hyperextension of their toes for a ”toe-off” gait cycle, characteristic of modern bipedalism in humans.

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