Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Talgai Station Largest human Canine




The first truly fossil skull discovered
in Australia was formally handed over to
the University of Sydney last night by
Mr. Joynter Smith M.L.C., says the “Sydney
Morning Herald” of the 19th instant.
the opportunity was taken by Professor
david and acting-Professor Smith to
deliver lectures on the prehistoric man. Sir
William Cullen, Chancellor of the
University, presided.
Professor david explained that the skull
(of the Pleistocene period) was found
after a flood thirty-one years ago in the
bed of a creek near Talgai station, on the
Darling Downs, by a stockman. From its
highly mineralised state and mode of
Occurrence in a region where other fossils
remains had also been found, the skull
was of sufficiently sdtrikng geological
antiquity to be grouped with the latest ice
epoch of the Northern Hemisphere. at
the close of the llast glacial period, gigantic
animals became extinct, and probably
the big animals known to have existed in
Australia ages ago likewise died at the
same time as those of the Northern Hemisphere.
The discovery of the skull might
serve to explain a fact which was puzzling
scientists, namely, how it was that
Australia, with its marsupial fauna, had an
invader in the form of the dingo which
was a sort of asiatic jackal and “had no
more right to be here than the Germans in
Belgium.” There was the possibility of
its having been brought here by early
man. However, the skull was more than
worth its weight in gold. The University
of Sydney and scientists throughout the
world are under a deep debt of gratitude
to Mr. Smith for purchasing the skull,
which was undoubtedly a priceless
Acting-Professor Smith stated that the
sequence of teeth was such as to show
that the skull was that of a youth, while
at the same time it had the characteristics
of an adult skull. The canine tooth of the
Talgai fossil was the largest human tooth
discovered. The extremely primitive
characteristics were so great as to war-
rant one claiming for the skull considerable
importance in anthropology, and the
honour to be placed with such specimens
as the prehistoric Heidelberg jaw, and the
Piltdown skull. There was, he concluded,
certain to be a real controversy
concerning the latest discovery, as research
was being made.
A large number of lantern slides were
shown. The Chancellor thanked Mr.
Smith for his gift.

Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1878 – 1954) Sat 26 Jun 1915 Page 10 PREHISTORIC SKULL.



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