Wednesday, April 03, 2013
•Story of the human fossil record starts in earnest with this guy.
•Taung cave. Found brain case and other bones.
•Taung Child: Australopithecus africanus
•Dart claimed 2 things about the juvenile Australopithecus africanus from Taung:
1. Endocast more human than ape-like
2. Foramen magnum placed forward
• Evidence for bipedalism?
•Reaction of scientific community:
o Who is this crazy Australian?
o Taung child is fossil of chimp
o Why did they think this?
• Belief that increase in brain size would come before bipedalism
• "Piltdown man" - Eoanthropus dawsoni (was a joke)
•Scottish MD and Paleontologist
•1934: started work at Transvaal Museum
•New Site: Sterkfontein
•Sterkfontein: Adult Au. africanus cranium ("Mrs. Ples" - 1947) 2.5 Million Years old