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Ancient raptors likely feasted on early man, study suggests

look at skulls discarded from eagle nests. It's not that the damage was overlooked in the Taung skull, it's just that we didn't have the link to make sense of it."

He went on to say that the punctures in the Taung skull probably aren't due to damage during the fossilization process; rather, these marks are instead a clue to what killed the small hominid.

"Those marks aren't from some large predatory cat, they're from an ancient crowned hawk eagle," McGraw said.

The evidence from this study is also changing the way McGraw and his colleagues look at predator-prey dynamics.

"The findings suggest that birds of prey have been one of the most important selective forces in primate evolution for a long time," he said. "There are other primate fossil collections around the world that may deserve a second look for evidence of wounds inflicted by raptors."


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Contact: W. Scott McGraw
McGraw.43@osu.edu
614-688-3794
Ohio State University
29-Aug-2006


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