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Characteristics and variation of the temporal bone pneumatization in Asian Homo erectus

Abstract : The temporal bone is used frequently to identify taxonomic affinities of genus Homo fossils based on external morphological features. In the meantime, the temporal bone pneumatization has rarely been examined, particularly in Asian Homo erectus. We put forward a comparative morphological and quantitative analysis in Asian Homo erectus from the sites of Ngandong, Sambungmacan, and Zhoukoudian, and of Neandertals and anatomically modern Homo sapiens in order to document the variability of temporal bone pneumatization during hominid evolution. The Zhoukoudian fossils have a unique pattern for the temporal bone pneumatization, whereas Ngandong and Sambungmacan fossils as well as the Neandertals are closer to the modern human pattern. Our results support the hypothesis that this pneumatization expansion is related to available space and to the temporal bone morphology. Finally, the phyletic implication of this pneumatization is very limited in the analysed taxa as the variation is large within the same species.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 6, 2009 - 5:18:56 PM
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Antoine Balzeau, Dominique Grimaud-Hervé, François Sémah. Characteristics and variation of the temporal bone pneumatization in Asian Homo erectus. EurASEAA 2006, 2006, pp.21-27. ⟨halshs-00350460⟩



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