The Info List - Taung

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is a small town situated in the North West Province of South Africa. The name means place of the lion and was named after Tau, the chief of the Tswana speaking Legoya or Ba Taung
tribe. Tau is the Tswana word for lion.


1 History of research 2 Taphonomy 3 Geology 4 About the Taung
Child 5 See also 6 References

History of research[edit] In 1924, a skull (later named the Taung
Child) was discovered by a quarry-worker in the nearby Buxton-limestone quarry. It was described by Raymond Dart
Raymond Dart
in 1925 as the type specimen of Australopithecus africanus after he received a shipment of mostly fossil baboons, but also containing the skull and face of the child. Surprisingly, it would be many years before Dart would visit Taung
to determine the exact location of the find. By that time, lime-mining had destroyed much of the area. Later in-situ excavations were conducted under the direction of Phillip Tobias and Jeff McKee of the University of the Witwatersrand, who worked at the site from approximately 1989 until 1993. Although they failed to find additional hominid specimens, they did recover many important fossil baboons and increased the understanding of the Taung
geology and taphonomy significantly. Taphonomy[edit]

The Taung Child
Taung Child
Skull with arrows pointing to Eagle caused damage

The Taung Child
Taung Child
was at first proposed to have been killed by other hominids as part of Raymond Dart's Osteo-Dento-Keratic Culture hypothesis. However, later work by C.K. "Bob" Brain
demonstrated that the child was probably killed by some sort of mammalian carnivore such as a leopard. Recently, however, studies of the associated baboons by Ron Clarke and Lee Berger, and identification of specific marks on the Taung Child
Taung Child
skull have demonstrated that the Taung Child
Taung Child
may have been killed and eaten by a large bird of prey. Geology[edit] Unlike the dolomitic caves near Johannesburg, South Africa
South Africa
and the site of Makapansgat, the Taung
fossil sites are found in caves formed in a gigantic tufa flow coming off the dolomitic bedrock of the Kalahari
escarpment. About the Taung
Child[edit] Main article: Taung
Child The Taung Child
Taung Child
is among the most important early human fossils ever discovered. It was the first hominid to be discovered in Africa, a species later named Australopithecus africanus, supporting Charles Darwin's concepts that the closest living relatives of humans are the African apes. It furthermore demonstrated significant differences between reality and the fake skull of a proposed human ancestor from England
known as the Piltdown Man
Piltdown Man
or Eoanthropus. The little skull is hypothesized to be from an approximately three to three and a half year old child. The cast of the brain is preserved by the filling of the skull with limestone breccia. The skull is housed at the University of the Witwatersrand
University of the Witwatersrand
in Johannesburg, South Africa. See also[edit]

Hominids Cradle of Humankind List of human evolution fossils North West Cultural Calabash


^ a b c d "Main Place Taung". Census 2011. 

P.V. Tobias, Dart Taung
and the Missing Link (Inst. for the Study of Man in Africa, 1984) L.R. Berger and B. Hilton-Barber, In the Footsteps of Eve (National Geographic Press, 2001) L.R. Berger and B. Hilton-Barber, Field Guide to the Cradle of Humankind (Struik, 2001) L.R. Berger Am. J.Phys. Anth. 131:166-168 (2006)

v t e

Municipalities and communities of Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality, North West

District seat: Vryburg


Stella Vryburg


Amalia Glaudina Schweizer-Reneke

Greater Taung

Kameelputs Magogong Majeakgoro Manthe Pudimoe Reivilo Taung


Bloemhof Boitumelong Christiana


Austrey Bray Ganyesa Goodwood Louwna Morokweng Piet Ple