From Today in Science History:
Raymond Arthur Dart (Born 4 Feb 1893; died 22 Nov 1988) was an Australian-born South African physical anthropologist and paleontologist whose discoveries of fossil hominids led to significant insights into the evolutionary origins of human beings. In 1924, working with students in the Taung limestone works in Bechuanaland, he rewarded the most interesting find. One seemed at first to be just another primate skull. Then, Dart noticed how amazingly close to human it looked. He recognized as a “missing link” in the evolution from ape to man. Dart had found the Taung child, only three years old at the time of death. He named it Australopithecus africanus, “australis” meaning south and “pithecus” meaning ape. His theory is now generally accepted, but was originally very controversial.
- See the original paper of the discovery here.
- More on Australopithecus africanus at Archaeology.info
- His obituary in the New York Times.
(Image of Taung replica from Wikimedia Commons)