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, Volume 27, Issue 3–4, pp 135–141 | Cite as

Comparative aspects of temporal bone pneumatization in some African fossil hominins

Aspects comparatifs de la pneumatisation de l’os temporal chez quelques homininés fossiles africains
Article / Article

Résumé

Les connaissances sur la variation de la pneumatisation de l’os temporal chez les homininés fossiles sont limitées. Pourtant, ce caractère pourrait avoir une utilité pour les discussions phylogénétiques et plus largement pour la compréhension de la mise en place de l’anatomie externe de l’os temporal, et de ses particularités spécifiques. Nous décrivons ici le schéma de distribution de la pneumatisation de l’os temporal chez quelques homininés fossiles africains anciens attribués à différentes espèces des genres Australopithecus, Paranthropus, « early Homo » et à des Homo ergaster/Homo erectus africains. Contrairement à des suggestions antérieures, les spécimens analysés attribués à Australopithecus africanus et Paranthropus ne partagent pas le schéma de pneumatisation des grands singes africains. Ces résultats doivent être approfondis et complétés pour contribuer au débat sur l’origine développementale ou fonctionnelle de la pneumatisation mais aussi pour notre compréhension de l’évolution des homininés.

Mots clés

Anatomie crânienne interne Homininés fossiles Grands singes africains Méthodes d’imagerie 

Abstract

Knowledge on variations in temporal bone pneumatization in fossil hominins is still limited, although this feature could have implications for phylogenetic discussions and more generally for a better understanding of the development of temporal bone anatomy, including specific particularities. Here, we document the pattern of distribution of temporal bone pneumatization in early African hominins attributed to Australopithecus, Paranthropus, early Homo and African Homo ergaster/Homo erectus. Contrary to previous suggestions, the specimens analysed here and attributed to Australopithecus africanus and Paranthropus do not share the ape-like pattern of pneumatization. Further work will contribute to the debate on the developmental and/or functional origin of pneumatization as well as to our understanding of hominin evolution.

Keywords

Internal cranial anatomy Fossil hominins African great apes Imaging methodologies 

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Copyright information

© Société d'anthropologie de Paris et Springer-Verlag France 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Equipe de Paléontologie Humaine, UMR 7194 du CNRS, Département de Préhistoire du Muséum national d’Histoire naturelleMusée de l’HommeParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of African ZoologyRoyal Museum for Central AfricaTervurenBelgium

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