Scientists announced on Thursday they had definitive proof that the “Taung child”, a 2-million year old apeman skull famed as one of the most dramatic human evolutionary finds, was killed and eaten by an eagle.
“Birds used to eat us and in doing so they shaped our behaviour,” said Dr Lee Berger, a palaeoanthropologist at Johannesburg’s University of the Witwatersrand.
“Birds of prey are one of the few things that some modern primates have special calls or alarms for,” he told Reuters.
Berger said the child had probably been scooped up by an eagle and taken to its nest, where its eyes were ripped out for dinner. The child’s skull eventually fell out of the nest, only to be found almost 2 million years later.