Paranthropus robustus killed by leopard
Geologic period: Modern
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Early hominids were in no way the rulers of their domain: Larger predators could and would pursue a hominid for a meal. A Paranthropus robustus skull found in Sterkfontein, South Africa, shows graphic evidence of this: Two punctures in the skull are perfect matches for a leopard's canine teeth!
Did you know?
Paranthropus robustus is an example of a robust australopithecine; they had huge, broad megadont cheek teeth with thick enamel and focused their chewing in the back of the jaw. Large zygomatic arches allowed the passage of large chewing muscles to the jaw and gave P. robustus individuals their characteristically wide, dish-shaped face. A large sagittal crest provided a large area to anchor these chewing muscles to the skull. These adaptations provided P. robustus with the ability of grinding down tough, fibrous foods. It is now known that ‘robust’ refers solely to tooth and face size, not to the body size of P. robustus.
Try your luck with fossil forensics!