Unveiling Human Origins: The Taung Child Skull and Prehistoric Climates in South Africa - Essay Sample

Published: 2023-12-15
Unveiling Human Origins: The Taung Child Skull and Prehistoric Climates in South Africa - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Biology Genetics Science
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 700 words
6 min read
How Was the Taung Child Skull Similar to the Chimpanzee, and How was it Similar to Modern Humans?

Taung’s skull had both features of a human being and a chimpanzee. (Radiolab, 2014) shows that the skull was flat and human-like. The skull showed that Taung had a smaller brain, much smaller than a human brain, and closer to a chimpanzee's brain. According to (Radiolab, 2014), the skull also had a hole on the bottom of the neck's backside. The hole showed that the Taung walked upright. However, (Radiolab, 2014) also shows that the skull did neither resembled the modern ape nor human beings, but it was "something in between."

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Why Was the Hypothesis that Humans Originated in Africa Rejected in 1925? Where did Scientists around 1925 Hypothesize where Humans Originated?

In 1925, the scientists rejected the hypothesis that human beings originated from Africa since Africa "was backward" (Radiolab, 2014). There was terrific cave art in Europe, painted thousands of years ago. Therefore, the scientists hypothesized that human beings might have originated from Europe, not Africa.

What Evidence did People Use to Hypothesize that Humans Didn’t Originate in Africa? What Became of This Evidence?

The scientist found a skull alleged to belong to Piltdown man in Europe. The skull had a larger brain skull and brain size that looked more similar to modern man than African Taung.

What was the Original Hypotheses about the Demise of the Taung-Child?

Initially, (Radiolab, 2014) shows that Dart hypothesized that Taung was either clubbed down by either his neighbor or brother. However, in the limestone where Dart found Taung's skull, there were other skulls, including monkey skulls, baboon skulls, and bones. The presence of bones shows that the location could have been a predators’ den. Therefore, (Radiolab, 2014) indicates that another hypothesis emerged that Taung could not have been killed by a "Taung like" creature but maybe a big cat.

What Scared the Vervet Monkeys? What is the Current Hypothesis for what Killed the Taung Child? What Evidence is there Supporting this Hypothesis?

According to (Radiolab, 2014), Prof Lee Berger observed a troupe of velvet monkeys been scared by a huge eagle. The monkeys scattered as Berger observed a monkey being captured and killed by another eagle at the end of a cliff. Later, the eagle flew away from the age of the cliff with the dead monkey. The professor then followed the eagle to its nest. He found many skulls with keyhole-shaped cuts where the eagle had driven its talons. Coincidentally, Berger observed that Taung's skull had exactly similar marks left on other skulls by the eagle talons. (Radiolab, 2014) shows that the presence of talon marks on Taung’s skull led to the development of another theory that an eagle killed Taung.

How does the WIRED Article Describe Scientific Observations of Taung Child's Skull and its Influence on our Understanding of the Prehistoric Climate of South Africa?

The scientific observation describes Taung Child's skull to be a flat face, human-like dentition, and with large brain capacity. During the discovery of Taung's skull, Switek (2010) shows that the scientist thought that the prehistoric climate in South Africa had not changed much since the dinosaurs disappeared. The fact that the fossil was found at site along the harsh Kalahari Desert margin indicates that this early human had lived in a very harsh environment. From Dart's argument, the climate of Kalahari Desert offered humans a more open veldt where the movements were simple.

How do Scientists Come to Understand the World? Reflect on how You Know the World Around You. Is it Similar or Different from a Scientific Approach? What might have Influenced that for you?

Based on the evolution theories, scientists believed that the world has evolved over millions of years ago with the changes depending on the laws of nature. However, I think that some divine forces influence the world around me. My understanding of the world is based on my cultural and religious background.


Radiolab (Host). (2014, May 15). The skull. [Audio Podcast] https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/radiolab/articles/taung-child

Switek, B. (2010 July 14). Taung, 2.3 Million Years Ago - Scratched bones and fossil primate teeth as keys to a lost world. Retrieved from https://www.wired.com/2010/07/taung-2-3-million-years-ago-scratched-bones-and-fossil-primate-teeth-as-keys-to-a-lost-world-2/

Cite this page

Unveiling Human Origins: The Taung Child Skull and Prehistoric Climates in South Africa - Essay Sample. (2023, Dec 15). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/unveiling-human-origins-the-taung-child-skull-and-prehistoric-climates-in-south-africa

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism