Australopithecus africanus was an early hominid, living between 3 and 2 million years ago - in the late Pliocene and early Pleistocene. It shared with its older Australopithecus afarensis
a slender build. Unlike Australopithecus afarensis
however, it had a larger brain and more humanoid facial features. It is thought to be a direct ancestor of modern humans
. Australopithecus africanus has been found at only four sites in southern Africa - Taung , Sterkfontein , Makapansgat  and Gladysvale .