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The pelvis is a mix of ape and human traits; it appears to be broader, shorter, and narrower than an ape’s pelvis and reminiscent of a bipedal pelvis.
The foot is notably apelike with elongated toes and a fully divergent great toe for moving about in trees.
Animal fossils, pollen, and other evidence associated with , which was discovered in northern Kenya near Lake Turkana at Kanapoi and Allia Bay.
The species was first described in 1995 after an analysis of isolated teeth, upper and lower jaws, fragments of a cranium, and a tibia unearthed at the discovery sites.
The genus name, meaning “southern ape,” refers to the first fossils found, which were discovered in South Africa.
The case for its hominin status rests on the humanlike features of the femur.
According to its discoverers, features of the thighbone implying bipedalism include its overall proportions, the internal structure of the femoral neck (the column joining the ball-shaped head of the femur to the shaft of the bone), and a groove on the bone for a muscle used in upright walking (the obturator externus).
The toe bone assigned to , which was discovered in the middle Awash valley in 1992 at a site named Aramis, is known from a crushed and distorted partial skeleton.
The skull is apelike with a tiny brain—300–350 cc (18.3–21.4 cubic inches), which is equivalent to a brain weight of about 300–350 grams (10.6–12.3 ounces)—and a prognathic (projecting) snout.