PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PASCAL GOETGHELUCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Taung Child fossil. Skull of a young Australopithecus africanus primate discovered near Taung, South Africa, in 1924. The specimen comprises part of a juvenile skull and mandible, and an endocast of the right half of the brain (seen at centre left). It is thought to be around 1.7 million years old. A. africanus was a bipedal animal that was found throughout Africa from about 3-1.6 million years ago. It was a gracile Australopithecine. These were omnivorous and more slender than the primarily herbivorous robust Australopithecines such as A. boisei. It is thought that the gracile Australopithecines are the ancestors of humans.
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