Fossil remains for Australopithecus garhi have been found in Bouri, Ethiopia, and demonstrate a unique combination of primitive and derived traits. A. garhi had longer arms than legs (as seen in Australopithecus afarensis), small cranial capacity of 450 cc, and strong subnasal prognathism. However, A. garhi exhibits novel traits only otherwise seen in Paranthropus, such as very large cheek teeth, and a small sagittal crest. A femur, suspected to be an A. garhi specimen but not yet assigned to this species, would indicate that A. garhi was bipedal.

A. garhi is one of the earliest hominin fossils found in association with faunal remains showing possible butcher marks made with stone tools.

Similarities between A. garhi and early Homo helped to redefine the human family tree, indicating that A. garhi is more likely the ancestor of Homo than A. africanus, which is most likely ancestor of Paranthropus.

The type specimen for A. garhi is BOU-VP-12/130 which was found at Middle Awash and dates to approximately 2.5 million years ago.