Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-x24gv Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-30T00:20:58.328Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Part II - Hominin morphology through time: brains, bodies and teeth

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2012

Sally C. Reynolds
Affiliation:
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
Andrew Gallagher
Affiliation:
University of Johannesburg
Get access

Summary

Abstract

Since Raymond Dart named Australopithecus africanus in 1925, palaeoanthropology has been advanced by the discovery of numerous additional australopithecine and other fossil hominins, as well as applications of medical imaging technology for reconstructing and measuring their remains. Although improved dates for some fossils and a better understanding of their developmental trajectories have helped to modify some earlier beliefs about hominin evolution, the now much-enlarged fossil record of South African australopithecines is of key importance for understanding human evolution. This chapter details how the accumulated advances in palaeoanthropology, in general, and the South African record of endocasts, in particular, impact on our understanding of the nature and timing of hominin brain evolution. Three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) of certain South African australopithecines has led to new reconstructions in the form of virtual endocasts as well as revised cranial capacity estimates that impact the overview of the tempo and mode of hominin brain evolution during the Plio-Pleistocene. The recent discovery and reaction to Homo floresiensis is discussed and compared with the earlier reception of Taung’s discovery by scientists and the public. The endocasts of Taung and LB1 are briefly reviewed within the context of the ongoing debate about the respective evolutionary roles of brain size and neurological reorganisation during human evolution.

Type
Chapter
Information
African Genesis
Perspectives on Hominin Evolution
, pp. 143 - 316
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2012

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×