Endocranial capacity in an early hominid cranium from Sterkfontein, South Africa

Glenn C. Conroy, Gerhard W. Weber, Horst Seidler, Phillip V. Tobias, Alex Kane, Barry Brunsden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations

Abstract

Two- and three-dimensional computer imaging shows that endocranial capacity in an ~2.8- to 2.6-million-year-old early hominid cranium (Stw 505) from Sterkfontein, South Africa, tentatively assigned to Australopithecus africanus, is ~515 cubic centimeters. Although this is the largest endocranial capacity recorded for this species, it is still markedly less than anecdotal reports of endocranial capacity exceeding 600 cubic centimeters. No australopithecine has an endocranial capacity approaching, let alone exceeding, 600 cubic centimeters. Some currently accepted estimates of early hominid endocranial capacity may be inflated, suggesting that the tempo and mode of early hominid brain evolution may need reevaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1730-1731
Number of pages2
JournalScience
Volume280
Issue number5370
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 12 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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