Three-million-year-old child skull had no soft spot, study finds

ISLAMABAD: Scientists may be forced to rethink their theories on the development of the brain in early humans after a study found a three-million-year-old child’s skull had no soft spot unlike babies born today.

Newborn babies have several plates in their skull that are loosely joined and have`soft spots’ that eventually come together, a trait that accommodates a growing brain, scientists believe, Media reported.

However, the Taung Child, which was uncovered 90 years ago in South Africa, has no soft spot suggesting that, contrasting what scientists have long thought, it is not the first example of early hominid brain evolution.

The results as well as comparisons with the hominin fossil record and chimpanzee variation do not support the hypothesis that the features evolved in A. africanus or early Homo hominins,’ said a report carried out by researchers at the University of Witwatersrand, Colombia University and Florida Atlantic University.

The discovery has blown open the long-running debate over whether the Taung Child fossil represents the earliest signs of a fusing skull, after a recent study claimed it showed the first signs of cranial adaptation in australopithecus africanus an early hominid.

Source: APP