Last week on Fossil Friday, I showed you a skull that our house anthropologist, Eric Meikle, called "one of the four most historically significant discoveries in the human fossil record" (in his humble opinion).
There were a few false starts from readers: Neandertal, Australopithecus sediba... giant sloth. But no, Adriaan Meijer was the first to correctly identify the skull. It was the Taung child, Australopithecus africanus, discovered in 1924 in South Africa.
From the Smithsonian:
"The Taung Child’s fossilized anatomy represented the first time researchers saw evidence of early human upright, two-legged (bipedal) walking."
According to the Smithsonian, researchers believe the child was killed by an eagle because of puncture marks found at the bottom of the eye sockets—yikes!
Kudos to Adriaan for figuring it out! Stay tuned for this week's Fossil Friday for our continued Day of the Dead celebration with a month full of skulls.