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19 Estimation of Basic Life History Data of Fossil Hominoids

  • Helmut Hemmer
Reference work entry

Abstract

Relationships between the life cycle and body mass, brain mass and relative brain size of extant primates can be used to estimate life history parameters of extinct species. Methods to predict these key variables from available cranial and postcranial materials of fossil hominoids, especially hominids, are compiled and evaluated. The use of different concepts of scaling relative brain size is discussed. Brain mass and constant of cephalization data were used as the source material for the estimation of the age at eruption of the first lower molar, the age at female sexual maturity, the age at first breeding, and the maximum life span. Such data support the interpretation of the Late Miocene Sahelanthropus tchadensis as a taxon possibly related to the hominid stem-species near the splitting of chimpanzee and hominid lines, confirm the fundamental nature of the australopithecines as progressive apes, not as humans, and support the view of a close relationship of the early Lower Pleistocene Homo paleopopulation of Dmanisi (Georgia) to the Late Pliocene but not to the Lower Pleistocene African Homo populations.

Keywords

Brain Size Brain Mass Early Hominid Maximum Life Span Allometric Exponent 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author thanks Prof. Dr. Winfried Henke for various valuable supports.

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2007

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  • Helmut Hemmer

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