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Title: The endocast from Dana Aoule North (DAN5/P1): A 1.5 million year-old human braincase from Gona, Afar, Ethiopia
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano
Holloway, Ralph L.
Baab, Karen L.
Rogers, Michael J.
Semaw, Sileshi
Keywords: Brain evolution;Homo erectus;Homo ergaster;Human evolution;Lower Pleistocene;Paleoneurology
Issue Date: Jun-2023
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 2023, 181(2), 206-215
Abstract: The nearly complete cranium DAN5/P1 was found at Gona (Afar, Ethiopia), dated to 1.5–1.6 Ma, and assigned to the species Homo erectus. Its size is, nonetheless, particularly small for the known range of variation of this taxon, and the cranial capacity has been estimated as 598 cc. In this study, we analyzed a reconstruction of its endocranial cast, to investigate its paleoneurological features. The main anatomical traits of the endocast were described, and its morphology was compared with other fossil and modern human samples. The endocast shows most of the traits associated with less encephalized human taxa, like narrow frontal lobes and a simple meningeal vascular network with posterior parietal branches. The parietal region is relatively tall and rounded, although not especially large. Based on our set of measures, the general endocranial proportions are within the range of fossils included in the species Homo habilis or in the genus Australopithecus. Similarities with the genus Homo include a more posterior position of the frontal lobe relative to the cranial bones, and the general endocranial length and width when size is taken into account. This new specimen extends the known brain size variability of Homo ergaster/erectus, while suggesting that differences in gross brain proportions among early human species, or even between early humans and australopiths, were absent or subtle.
ISSN: 2692-7691
DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24717
Editor version:
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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