Australopithecus, informal australopithecine or australopith is a genus of hominins. From paleontological and archaeological evidence, the genus Australopithecus evolved in eastern Africa around 4.2 million years ago before spreading throughout the continent and becoming extinct 1.9 million years ago. While none of the groups directly assigned to this group survived, Australopithecus does not appear to be extinct as the Homo genus emerged from late Australopithecus species such as Australopithecus garhi, Australopithecus africanus and/or Australopithecus sediba. During that time, a number of australopithecine species emerged, including the afore-mentioned 3 species, Australopithecus afarensis, Australopithecus anamensis, A. bahrelghazali, A. deyiremeda. For some other hominid species of this time – A. robustus, A. boisei and A. aethiopicus – some debate exists whether they constitute members of the genus Australopithecus. If so, they would be considered'robust australopiths', while the others would be'gracile australopiths'.

However, if these more robust species do constitute their own genus, they would be under the genus name Paranthropus, a genus described by Robert Broom when the first discovery was made in 1938, which makes these species P. robustus, P. boisei and P. aethiopicus. Occasional suggestions have been made that A. africanus should be moved to Paranthropus. Numerous researchers such as Leakey, White and Kimbel suggest that A. bahrelghazali is a western version of A. Afarensis and not a separate species. On the basis of craniodental evidence and Grine suggest that Australopithecus is paraphyletic and that A. anamensis and A. garhi should be assigned to new genera. Australopithecus species played a significant part in human evolution, with most scientists in the field believing the genus Homo was derived from Australopithecus at some time between three and two million years ago. In addition, they were the first hominids to possess certain genes, known as the duplicated SRGAP2, which increased the length and ability of neurons in the brain.

Significant changes to the hand first appear in the fossil record of A. Afarensis about 3 million years ago. One of the australopith species evolved into the genus Homo in Africa, from early Homo species into modern humans, H. sapiens sapiens. Australopiths are descended from or related to Ardipithecus ramidus.. Some features of A. anamensis show similarities to features of both Ardipithecus ramidus and Sahelanthropus tchadensis, but some dissimilarities. Gracile australopiths shared several traits with modern apes and humans, were widespread throughout Eastern and Northern Africa around 3.5 million years ago. The earliest evidence of fundamentally bipedal hominids can be observed at the site of Laetoli in Tanzania; this site contains hominid footprints that are remarkably similar to those of modern humans and have been dated to as old as 3.6 million years. The footprints have been classified as australopith, as they are the only form of prehuman hominins known to have existed in that region at that time.

Australopithecus anamensis, A. afarensis, A. africanus are among the most famous of the extinct hominins. A. africanus was once considered to be ancestral to the genus Homo. However, fossils assigned to the genus Homo have been found. Thus, the genus Homo either split off from the genus Australopithecus at an earlier date, or both developed from a yet unknown common ancestor independently. According to the Chimpanzee Genome Project, the human and chimpanzee lineages diverged from a common ancestor about five to six million years ago, assuming a constant rate of evolution, it is theoretically more for evolution to happen more as opposed to more from the date suggested by a gene clock However, hominins discovered more are somewhat older than the presumed rate of evolution would suggest. Sahelanthropus tchadensis called "Toumai", is about seven million years old and Orrorin tugenensis lived at least six million years ago. Since little is known of them, they remain controversial among scientists since the molecular clock in humans has determined that humans and chimpanzees had a genetic split at least a million years later.

One theory suggests that the human and chimpanzee lineages diverged somewhat at first some populations interbred around one million years after diverging. The brains of most specie


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Newspaper stamp

A newspaper stamp is a special type of postage stamp used to pay the cost of mailing newspapers and other periodicals. Although many types were issued in the 19th century representing rates reduced from regular mail, they fell out of use in the mid-20th century, as mail services began to arrange bulk handling directly with publishers; the exact use of newspaper stamps varied. Higher values were used on bundles of newspapers, on receipts; the first newspaper stamp was issued by Austria in 1851, a number of nations soon followed suit. The newspaper stamps of the United States, in use from 1865 to 1898, were always intended for bulk shipments, with face values ranging up to US$100, are the highest-value newspaper stamps. Newspaper stamps seem to have been printed in great quantities, all types are today inexpensive and acquired. Chandler, John H. and H. Dagnall; the Newspaper and Almanac Stamps of Great Britain and Ireland. Saffron Walden: GB Philatelic Society, 1981 ISBN 0-9076300-0-6 302p. Frankl, T.

Die Zeitungsstempel und Die Stempelmarken Österreichs = The Newspaper Stamps and Stamp Cancellations of Austria. Prague: Der'Briefmarke' Teplitz-Schönau, 1927 36p. Jorgensen, Lars. Danmarks Avisportomaerker = The Newspaper Stamps of Denmark. Overijse: L. Jorgensen, 2004 ISBN 8799022702 195p. Noël, Gilbert. Catalogue des Timbres de Journaux de France. Paris: Histoire postale, 1975 47p. O'Neill, C. P; the Newspaper Stamps of Ireland. Enniskillen: Watergate Press, 1978 57p. Pepper, Doc M. United States Newspaper Stamps 1865-1895: The Regulars: a study of the regular issues. [League City, TX: Doc M. Pepper, 2010 24p. Red and Black: The Duty and Postage Stamps Impressed on Newspapers, 1712-1870, on'The Times' or its postal wrappers from 1785 to 1962. London: Times Publishing Company, 1962 22p. Linn's refresher course on newspaper stamps