Raymond Dart facts for kids
Raymond Arthur Dart
Dart in 1968
|Died||22 November 1988
Johannesburg, South Africa
|Alma mater||Ipswich Grammar School, University of Queensland, University of Sydney|
|Known for||Australopithecus africanus|
|Awards||Viking Fund Medal (1957)|
In 1924 he discovered the first fossil of an Australopithecine, at Taung in Northwestern South Africa (now Botswana). It was Australopithecus africanus, an extinct hominid closely related to humans. This was a great event in the study of human evolution.
Dart was born in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, the son of a farmer and tradesman. He studied at the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney and University College London, before taking a position as head of the newly established department of anatomy at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1922.
Because he was an Australian, and not a part of the scientific establishment, and because he found the fossil in Africa, and not Europe or Asia, where the establishment looked to for man's origins, his findings were initially dismissed.
Dart's closest ally was Robert Broom whose discoveries of further Australopithecines (and Wilfrid Le Gros Clark's support) eventually vindicated Dart. So much so that in 1947, Sir Arthur Keith said "...Dart was right, and I was wrong."
Raymond Dart Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.