Taung Baby Reconstructed Skull




Taung Baby Reconstructed Skull measures 3.1 in. Taung Baby Reconstructed Skull is museum quality polyurethane resins. Made in USA. Australopithecus africanus. John Weisgerbers concept of the original fossil skull. Chatsworth CA 1997.

The Taung Baby skull is the fossilized skull of a young Australopithecus africanus. It was discovered in 1924 by quarry men working for the Northern Lime Company in Taung, South Africa.

The Taung baby is in repository at the University of Witwatersrand. Dean Falk, a specialist in brain evolution, has called it “the most important anthropological fossil of the twentieth century.

The Taung baby fossil skull has most of the face and mandible with teeth and, uniquely, a natural endocast of the braincase. It is estimated to be 2.3 million years old.

The Taung baby skull was originally thought to have been about six years old at death because of the presence of deciduous teeth, but it is now believed to have been about three or four, based on studies of rates of enamel deposition on the teeth.

There was some debate over the age of this creature initially because it was unclear if it grew at the speed of a human, or of an ape. Compared to an ape, it would have been aged about 4 years, and compared to a human, it would have been aged around 5–7 years old.

In 2006, Lee Berger announced the Taung Child probably was killed by an eagle or other large predatory bird since the similarity of damage to the skull and eye sockets of the Taung baby skull is of that seen in modern primates that are known to have been killed by eagles.

There are talon marks in the eyes as well as a depression along the skull that is common in creatures that have been preyed upon by eagles.

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Additional information

Weight 4 lbs
Taung Baby Facts

Catalog no. Taung 1
Common name Taung Child
Species: Australopithecus africanus
Age: ~2.8 mya; 3.3 years when deceased
Place discovered: Taung, South Africa
Date discovered: 1924
Discovered by Raymond Dart
Conservation Status: Extinct