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The Discovery of the Taung Child - Essay Example

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This paper "The Discovery of Taung Child" focuses on the fact that scientists have collected fossils from different regions of the world. There is also a difference in time. Each of the fossils identified undergoes analysis and closer examination to establish related characteristics. …
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Download file to see previous pages Physically, the skull was rounded, a high forehead without brow ridges and a foramen magnum that appeared towards the skull. From Dart’s analysis, the child must have had a bipedal posture. The hole in the skull had a downward orientation indicating that the spinal cord balanced in the middle of the skull. This is contrary to the position of the hole in skulls of an early man walking on fours and the primates whereby the balancing occurs near the rear of the skull. Dart concluded that Australopithecus africanus was the intermediate between the modern man and apes. The young child had a small cranial capacity. Dart attributed its death from an eagle’s attack because of the hole near the eye (150).
Discovery of the skull brought about a lot of controversy as the science community. The fact that the skull had a small brain placed it at an earlier age than all the other skulls previously discovered. The young skull was older than all other fossils discovered in Asia and Europe. This meant that all humans had lineage from Africa, fact that very few believed. The discovery of the ape-like skull brought about the issue of ethnicity among many scientists. Some of them did not accept the African lineage because of the inferiority associated with the continent. It is interesting how acceptance of the skull as evidence of early hominid forms took twenty years. The acceptance came after the discovery of more skulls from South Africa presenting sufficient evidence that hominids really lived in Africa about two million years ago.The discovery of Taung Child change the perceptions of the past that life had begun in other continents and brought about a quest for more scientists to explore Africa looking for other fossils to serve as supporting evidence that early hominids resided in the continent.    ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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