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On the endocranial cast of the adolescent Sinanthropus skull

On the endocranial cast of the adolescent Sinanthropus skull

Proceedings Roy Society London B112(776): 263-278

DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1933.0009

This skull is from Locus E of the Choukoutien deposit, re ported (1931) by the same author (see B. A. 8: entry 9611). The whole of the vault is intact, but the basioccipital and ethmoid regions, with much of the foramen magnum area, are missing. The fortunate preservation of part of the left exoccipital enabled a restoration of the base of the endocranial cast to be made. The first rough estimates of the cranial capacity gave 980-990cc, but the very laborious and accurate method of the Negocoll cast gave 964.4 [plus or minus] 0.27cc; this falls well within the lower range of normal variability of modern man. The relations of the vascular channels, as shown by the grooves, are similar to those most frequently observed in modern man. A larger fossa for the right cerebellar hemisphere, and a slight predominance in bulk of the left cerebral hemisphere, indicate the functional dominance of the musculature of the right side. But the cerebral hemispheres lack that marked asymmetry which is a specialized feature of modern man. An extraordinarily marked development of the opercular portion of the left inferior frontal region suggests the possession of the mechanism of articulate speech. The convolutional pattern of the cerebrum is what might obtain in any primitive human brain. Thus the endocranial cast of Sinanthropus shows an interesting blend of archaic, generalized and progressive characters.

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Accession: 019596684

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