Why Is Australopithecus Important?

Decent Essays

Australopithecus Africanus STS 5, also known as Mrs. Ples, is one of the most popular fossil discoveries to date. It is also believed that the discovery of this fossil is one of the most important discoveries in all of anthropology. This fossil was discovered in April of 1947 by paleontologists Robert Broom and John T. Robinson while excavating in South Africa. The discovery of STS 5 or Mrs. Ples was and still is a very large discovery. Mrs. Ples had been discovered in the now famous cave Sterkfontein in South Africa after Broom and his associates had decided to use dynamite to breach into the cave where he believed fossils of australopithecines would be discovered. Broom had been right on his prediction and was greeted with the discovery of …show more content…

Aside from the fossil being one of the most complete discovered to date, it also helps to prove to many skeptics that fossil was in fact an ancestor to the modern day humans. Something that many scientist had discovered was that this fossil showed relations to another famous fossil, Taung Child. Mrs. Ples is believed to be a grown up version of its fellow fossil Taung Child. Both fossils have been classified as australopithecus africanus. One of the fascinating arguments that comes from the talks of Mrs. Ples is that some scientists believe that she was actually a he. Some scientists and researchers believe that she was actually a juvenile male due to the size of the hole where the canine tooth would normally be. While this has been widely debated, some researchers have concluded that Broom was right by naming the fossil Mrs rather than Mr. The reason why this debate has been so important is because that the Australopithecus Africanus is one of the species studied that show sexual dimorphism. There are many things that are up for debate when it comes to this fossil, but the one thing that is for sure, is that this fossils discovery holds much importance and helps give researchers a view into the …show more content…

For instance, the fossil being able to withstand a blast of dynamite and still stay mostly complete is incredible. Many people have agreed that this find is the most complete fossil of this specimen so far. Researchers and fellow paleontologists must have realized that in order to find a complete fossil it would be better off to endure the back breaking work and have a complete preserved fossil rather than the chances of destroying what they are looking for most. Another one of the interesting discoveries found throughout the research was that this fossil was proven to be a grown up version of another commonly known fossil, Taung Child However, one of the most important discoveries that came with this fossil is that it is the most perfect pre-human skull. Another interesting find while researching was the argument over whether or not this specimen was a male or female. Whatever the case is, this fossil is still one of the most important and interesting discoveries to

Get Access