Prof. Raymond Arthur Dart & Tuang specimen

Prof. Raymond Arthur Dart & Tuang specimen

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Credit: JOHN READER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Professor Raymond Arthur Dart (aged 84, 1978) & the original Tuang specimen of Australopithecus africanus, discovered at a lime quarry near Taung in South Africa in 1924. Dart was the first to examine the skull and recognise that it represented an early stage of human evolution. The specimen comprises part of a juvenile skull & mandible, & an endocast (petrified sediments which fill the cranium after death) of the right half of the brain. The overall configuration is ape-like, but the specimen has hominid characteristics. Dart was ridiculed for his ideas until discoveries by Robert Broom proved that A. africanus had walked upright.

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Keywords: a. africanus, anthropologist, australopithecus africanus, dart, evolution, evolutionary biology, human origins, palaeoanthropology, paleoanthropology, pioneer, portraits, raymond arthur, surname d, taung fossils

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