Mrs. Ples STS 5 Skull measures 7.2 inches. Mrs. Ples STS 5 Skull is museum quality fossil Polyurethane cast. Made in USA. Australopithecus africanus is the scientific name. Our precise skull can be used as a teaching tool, museum skull exhibit, home decor skull, or office decor skull.

Mrs. Ples STS 5 is the most complete skull of an Australopithecus africanus specimen ever discovered. The skull was found encased in breccia (a rocky matrix) at Sterkfontein in 1947, by palaeontologist Dr. Robert Broom and his assistant, John Robinson.

The discovery of this nearly complete cranium of a mature specimen led to a much more positive reception of South African australopithecines as hominids.

Twenty years earlier Raymond Dart labeled a skull found at Taung “Australopithecus africanus.” The dentition of  the skull indicates that it was a juvenile, which led to much criticism and broad dismissal of Dart’s contention that the Mrs. Ples STS 5 skull was a hominid; instead, critics considered it an ape.

Like other early hominids, it had an ape-sized brain. The Sts 5 cranial capacity is about 485 cc. Compared to Australopithecus afarensis, it has a more rounded skull, a less projecting face, absence of cranial crests, and smaller front teeth.

Dart’s theory that the Mrs. Ples STS 5 known as the Taung child was a human ancestor, was supported by Robert Broom, a paleontologist with the Transvaal Museum of natural history in Pretoria.

In 1936, the Sterkfontein caves yielded the first adult australopithecine, substantially strengthening Dart’s claim for Broom.

Later, classified an adult endocranial cast having a brain capacity of 485 cc (found by G. W. Barlow) as Plesianthropus transvaalensis (near-man from Transvaal).

In April 1947, while blasting at Sterkfontein, he and John T. Robinson discovered a skull belonging to a middle-aged female (catalogue number STS 5) which he also classified as Plesianthropus transvaalensis (it was dubbed “Mrs. Ples” although the skull is now thought to have belonged to a young male). Both fossils were later classified as Australopithecus africanus.

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Additional information

Weight 5 lbs
Dimensions 7.2 in
Australopithecus africanus Facts:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Primates
Suborder: Haplorhini
Infraorder: Simiiformes
Family: Hominidae
Subfamily: Homininae
Tribe: Hominini
Genus: †Australopithecus
Species: †A. africanus
Binomial name: †Australopithecus africanus