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Cranium of extinct Australopithecus “shows similarities to” our own

inner structure (right) of Jacovec cranium/Amelie Beaudet

From ScienceDaily:

A cranium of a four-million-year-old fossil, that, in 1995 was described as the oldest evidence of human evolution in South Africa, has shown similarities to that of our own, when scanned through high resolution imaging systems.

The cranium of the extinct Australopithecus genus was found in the lower-lying deposits of the Jacovec Cavern in the Sterkfontein Caves, about 40km North-West of Johannesburg in South Africa.

“Our study revealed that the cranium of the Jacovec specimen and of the Ausralopithecus specimens from Sterkfontein in general was thick and essentially composed of spongy bone,” says Beaudet. “This large portion of spongy bone, also found in our own cranium, may indicate that blood flow in the brain of Australopithecus may have been comparable to us, and/or that the braincase had an important role in the protection of the evolving brain.” Paper. (paywall) – Amélie Beaudet, Kristian J. Carlson, Ronald J. Clarke, Frikkie de Beer, Jelle Dhaene, Jason L. Heaton, Travis R. Pickering, Dominic Stratford. Cranial vault thickness variation and inner structural organization in the StW 578 hominin cranium from Jacovec Cavern, South Africa. Journal of Human Evolution, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2018.04.004 More.

The cranium, the authors explain, is fragmentary so there is not much else to be told from it. But file this for general reference under: Be cautious when stalking the Missing Link. When startled, he gets away quickly, shoving Someone Else in your face on the way out…

See also: In any Darwinian scheme, someone must be the subhuman. Otherwise, there is no beginning to human history.

Do racial assumptions prevent recognizing Homo erectus as fully human? (J. R. Miller)

Was Neanderthal man fully human? The role racism played in assessing the evidence. (J. R. Miller)


Why did human Y chromosome diversity “collapse” 7000 years ago?


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