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Title: The endocranial anatomy of maba 1
Authors: Wu, Xiujie
Bruner, Emiliano
Keywords: Human evolution;Paleoneurology;Cranial anatomy;Asia;Middle-Late Pleistocene
Issue Date: Aug-2016
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 2016, 160 (4), 633-643
Abstract: Objectives: Maba 1, a partial cranium from Guandong Province (China) tentatively dated between 300 and 130 ka, has been suggested to display a mosaic of archaic and derived features, including facial affinities with Neandertals. This study aims to evaluate whether Maba 1 shows a derived endocranial phenotype, or if it displays a plesiomorphic braincase morphology. Materials and methods: We analyzed a set of metric variables on fossil and modern human endocasts using bivariate correlation, principal component analysis, and cluster analyses, to evaluate the morphological affinities of the Maba 1 endocast. Results: The cranial capacity, estimated at around 1300 cc, and the endocranial proportions of Maba 1 are within the ranges of modern humans, Neandertals and Homo heidelbergensis. However, the frontal lobes are narrow and the parietal areas are short and flattened, as in H. heidelbergensis and H. erectus. Nonetheless, the position of the frontal lobes relative to the orbits, the morphology of the frontal sinus and the curve of the frontal squama are more derived, being similar to Neandertals and modern humans. Conclusions: The endocast displays a general archaic morphology, although with some derived features associated with the spatial relationships with the face. A similar admixture was described for other Middle Pleistocene samples, like Sima de los Huesos. Future phylogenetic studies must re-evaluate the facial skeleton to consider whether its features can be considered as related to the Neandertal lineage. Alternatively, they should be interpreted as the result of homoplasy and parallelism within the genus Homo, and may reflect a predominantly Asian variation.
ISSN: 0002-9483
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22974
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Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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