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The Australopithecus africanus Skull STS 5 "Mrs Ples" was discovered in 1947 by R. Broom and J. Robinson in Sterkfontein, Transvaal, South Africa. The discovery of this nearly complete cranium of a mature specimen led to a much more positive reception of South African australopithecines as hominids. Twenty years earlier, Raymond Dart had labelled a skull found at Taung "Australopithecus africanus." The dentition of that skull indicated that it was a juvenile, which led to much criticism and broad dismissal of Dart's contention that the skull was a hominid. Instead, critics considered it an ape. However, the discovery of STS 5 two decades later provided support for Dart's earlier claim.
Like other early hominids, STS 5 had an ape-sized brain. The STS 5 cranial capacity is about 485cm3. Compared to Australopithecus afarensis, it has a more rounded skull, a less projecting face, absence of cranial crests, and smaller front teeth. However, the front teeth are larger than in robust australopithecines. The cheek teeth are larger than in Australopithecus afarensis but smaller than in the robust australopithecines. Originally thought by Broom to be a middle-aged female, STS 5 is now considered by most to be a male.
Stand available - contact us for pricing and availability of product code SBH007.
Model size: 19(L) x 12(W) x 13(H) cm
Our aim is to provide the best possible facsimile models of the most important hominid finds for the general public, educators and students, using the best reference material available. Each hominid has been carefully researched and re-created based on some or all of the following: casts of original fossils, the latest literature (descriptions and/or published measurements), input from the scientific community and full colour, life-size photographs. Every effort has been made to accurately re-create anatomical details of colour, size, shape, reconstructed areas, and bone/fossil texture. The hominids offered in this series are high quality, artistic recreations that can be advantageously used by educators as important visual aids in the classroom and appreciated by the general public. They are not intended for advanced graduate work nor to be measured for research purposes.
(Information courtesy Bone Clones, Inc)