Fossil age dating
Primitive features include curved toes and hands, long toes (although much shorter than those of apes), a conical rib cage, and relatively short thighs.Sexual dimorphism was strong in has a projecting lower face, enormous cheek teeth, a shallow palate, a large gap (diastema) between the incisor and canine teeth, and forward-pitched incisors.
There are, however, some dental features in common with later hominins.
An older deposit contains a beautifully preserved skeleton and skull of what might be an early variant of biostratigraphy.
This indirect method compares accompanying animal fossils with those found in other African sites that have been dated more precisely using radiometric methods.
Like later hominins, it has teeth with thick molar enamel, but, unlike humans, it has distinctively apelike canine and premolar teeth.
The case for its hominin status rests on the humanlike features of the femur.
In 1947 a partial skeleton was unearthed that revealed the humanlike specializations for bipedalism now known to be characteristic of all australopiths.