Paranthropus robustus (or Australopithecus robustus) was originally discovered at Kromdraai in South Africa in 1938 by the anthropologist Robert Broom. The robust australopithecines, members of the extinct hominin genus Paranthropus were bipedal hominids that probably descended from the gracile australopithecine hominids.
2 to 1.2 million years ago
Skull & Teeth Fossils, Kromdraai, South Africa
They are characterised by robust craniodental anatomy, including gorilla-like cranial crests, which suggest strong muscles of mastication [Dawkins 2004]. Paranthropus robustus lived between 2 and 1.2 million years ago. Dental studies suggest the average Paranthropus robustus rarely lived past 17 years of age.
Broom's work on the australopithecines showed that the evolution trail leading to Homo sapiens was not just a straight line in the evolutinary tree, but was one of rich diversity.
Paranthropus robustus males may have stood only 1.2m tall and weighed 54 kg while females stood just under 1 meter tall and weighed only 40 kg, indicating a large sexual dimorphism.
The average brain size of measured between 410 and 530 cc, about as large as a chimpanzee. The diet would have been gritty foods such as nuts and tubers, gathered from their environment of open woodland and savanna.