Image: Taung Child Australopithecus africanus skull

Taung Child Australopithecus africanus  skull

A partial skull and brain endocast of an Australopithecus africanus child.

Discovered: 1924 in Taung, South Africa
Age: approximately 2.3 million years old

This skull of a young child is the ‘type specimen’ or official representative of this species. It was the first fossil of a human ancestor ever found in Africa and was also the first to be classified in the genus Australopithecus. We know this individual was a young child because its first molar teeth were in the process of erupting from the jaw.

Stuart Humphreys
© Australian Museum

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