austro-, austr-, austral-, auster- +
(Latin: south, south wind, southern)
A human racial classification traditionally distinguished by physical characteristics; such as, dark skin and dark curly hair, and including the Aboriginal peoples of Australia along with various peoples of southeast Asia, especially Melanesia and the Malay Archipelago.
The family is divided into (1) Western Austronesian, or Indonesian, containing about 200 languages, and (2) Eastern Austronesian, or Oceanic, with about 300 languages.
Proto-Austronesian probably started in southern china or Taiwan before 3000 BC. Austronesian speakers were the first humans to settle the Pacific islands beyond western Melanesia.
Austronesians were the most widely spread ethno-linguistic group on earth, with the distance from Madagascar to Easter Island being 210 degrees of longitude.
It was introduced by Aristotle. Aristotle's ideas were later expanded by Ptolemy, a Greek cartographer from the first century A.D., who believed that the Indian Ocean was enclosed on the south by land.