Quote: Popular Science on Taung (1924)

A reader passes along a link to the Popular Science archive, now available free.

So naturally, I searched immediately for “Australopithecus”. And in the April 1925 issue, they covered Raymond Dart’s discovery at Taung. The short article appears on the same page as a picture of an early tanning bed (complete with topless woman) and a rather short Javan man standing next to a rather tall Titan arum flower. Here’s one of the five paragraphs:

The difference between men and animals is associated with the size of certain parts of the brain. The Pithecanthropus, the oldest man known, from the shape of a skull found, is judged to have been a creature who could speak. Judging again from the shape of its skull, Professor Dart says that the newly discovered manlike ape could not yet speak, but had a brain much more developed than that of an ape. That is, the brain was enlarged in those parts associated with human characteristics.

Isn’t it remarkable how much more information articles about human evolution pack in today?

Hmmm…why did I never get into Popular Science when I was a kid? Here’s a clue: after 1925, “Australopithecus” doesn’t appear in the archive again until 1993!