Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Taung Child

Hominid remains from Taung first described by Raymond Dart in a Nature article in 1925. The primary characteristics noted by Dart were a relatively small brain (405 cm3, and not expected to exceed 440 cm3 as an adult, estimated from a fossil hemi-endocast) and a hominid-like deciduous dentition. Perikymata aging technique suggests the child’s age at death was about 3 years. These characters in Dart’s Australopithecus africanus were diametrically opposed to Keith and others who then championed the Piltdown fragments (Eoanthropus dawsonii) with its alleged large brain but primitive teeth. Tobias suggested that the hominid was a raptor kill. Aka Taung 1.

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