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ARE THICKENED CRANIAL BONES AND EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF THE THREE STRUCTURAL BONE LAYERS AUTAPOMORPHIC TRAITS OF HOMO ERECTUS?

Abstract : Numerous studies have proposed different lists of morphological features to define the species of Homo erectus; among these, some are considered to be autapomorphic. The intention of this study is to discuss two of these possible autapomorphic traits: thickened cranial bones and equal participation of the three structural bone layers (inner and outer tables, diploe) in this thickening. This study brings new information concerning cranial vault thickness and structural
composition in the mid-sagittal plane of some Asian Homo erectus. The Ngandong and Sambungmacan fossils, as well
as the Zhoukoudian and Sangiran individuals, have cranial vault thickness values within the range of variation observed in our Homo sapiens comparative sample. Moreover, even if the frontal and sagittal keels in Homo erectus constitute a relief on the external cranial vault surface, they do not necessary correspond to a real thickening of the underlying bone.
The diploic layer principally contributes to their internal composition. Similarly, the diploe constitutes the greatest part of the total vault thickness along the mid-sagittal plane, particularly in the frontal and occipital tori, in the analysed fossils of this extinct species. Finally, our results show that Homo erectus individuals have cortical tables as well as diploe variation and distribution patterns similar to anatomically modern Homo sapiens. Therefore, the two tested autapomorphic traits for Homo erectus can no longer be considered as valid.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00351150
Contributor : Anne-Lise Millan-Brun Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, January 8, 2009 - 3:08:00 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 9:33:45 PM

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Antoine Balzeau. ARE THICKENED CRANIAL BONES AND EQUAL PARTICIPATION OF THE THREE STRUCTURAL BONE LAYERS AUTAPOMORPHIC TRAITS OF HOMO ERECTUS?. Bulletins et Mémoires de la Société d'anthropologie de Paris, Springer Verlag, 2006, 18 (3-4), pp.145-163. ⟨halshs-00351150⟩

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