Thursday, January 12, 2006

Someone had a bad headache

SA fossil murder mystery solved
By Mahlatse Gallens

BBC News, Johannesburg

Scientists claim to have solved the murder mystery of the baby that holds the key to all of humanity's ancestry.

For decades, scientists have argued over what killed the 2m-year-old Taung Child, found in 1924: the first ape-man fossil to be discovered in Africa.Some researchers had believed the child was killed by leopards. Professor Lee Berger challenged this, suggesting that the Taung child was attacked from above by a bird.

The injuries on the Taung child's skull mimic those on the skull of a baboon killed by an eagle. Professor Berger explained how birds such as eagles kill their prey and eat the brain, which is the most nutritious part of the animal.

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Picture: ©2006 BBC News