Scientist says Taung Child killed by bird

Jan 13, 2006

A U.S. paleontologist working in South Africa says he has unraveled what the cause of death was for the first ape-man fossil discovered in Africa.

Scientists have argued for decades about what killed the Taung Child found in 1924 -- some had believed the child was killed by leopards.

However, Lee Berger working at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand suggests that the Taung child had been attacked from above by a bird of prey, the BBC reported Friday.

The Taung child, believed to belong to the humanlike species Australopithecus africanus, is considered to be the most photographed and observed fossil in history.

Berger told the BBC the injuries on the Taung Child's skull mimic those of on the skull of a baboon killed by an eagle.

"Can you imagine what it must have been like back then?" Berger asked. "Not only were we afraid of cats, and leopards -- you had to watch for aerial attacks from these ferocious predators preying on your young."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

Related Stories

New York aims to cut waste by 90 percent by 2030

39 minutes ago

The nation's biggest city, in a far-reaching effort to limit its impact on the environment, is set to mark Earth Day by announcing the ambitious goal of reducing its waste output by 90 percent by 2030.

China tech firms shake up world's biggest car market

48 minutes ago

Chinese technology giants Alibaba and Tencent are promising to build the cars of the future, vehicles linked seamlessly to the Internet and offering shopping and navigation help while on the road.

Privacy advocates seek more openness on NSA surveillance

49 minutes ago

As Congress considers whether to extend the life of a program that sweeps up American phone records, privacy advocates and civil liberties group say they fear too much about government surveillance still ...

Recommended for you

Public boarding school—the way to solve educational ills?

23 hours ago

Buffalo's chronically struggling school system is considering an idea gaining momentum in other cities: public boarding schools that put round-the-clock attention on students and away from such daunting problems as poverty, ...

Study finds we think better on our feet, literally

Apr 24, 2015

A study from the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health finds students with standing desks are more attentive than their seated counterparts. In fact, preliminary results show 12 percent ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.