Austalopithecus africanus was first discovered by Raymond Dart in 1925. He found a well-preserved skull of a young australopithecine, three to four years old. This skull is often called the Taung Child, after Taung, South Africa where it was found. It is perhaps the most complete skull of A. africanus known. Based on current data A. africanus dates to between 3.03 and 2.04 million years ago.
Temporal range: Pliocene
|Natural endocranial cast (485 cm3) (Sts 60), articulated with a fragmentary skull still embedded in breccia (TM 1511)|
Australopithecus africanus had a dish shaped facial structure with teeth that were large compared to modern humans. While it had larger front teeth compared to the back, the emphasis was on back tooth grinding. Males had a sagital crest on the tops of their skulls. Large muscles were attached to this ridge that helped to support the heavy jaw.
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