Metrical analysis of the basicranium of extant hominoids and Australopithecus
Article first published online: 5 JUN 2005
Copyright © 1981 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 54, Issue 1, pages 63–71, January 1981
How to Cite
Dean, M. C. and Wood, B. A. (1981), Metrical analysis of the basicranium of extant hominoids and Australopithecus. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 54: 63–71. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330540109
- Issue published online: 5 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 5 JUN 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 JUL 1980
- Manuscript Received: 10 DEC 1979
- Skull base;
The size and shape of the basicranium (seen in norma basilaris) in Homo, Gorilla, Pan, Pongo, and Australopithecus have been studied by recording the relative disposition of midline and bilateral bony landmarks. Fifteen linear measurements and two angles were used to relate the landmarks. The relatively longer and narrower cranial base of Gorilla, Pan, and Pongo is clearly contrasted with the wider, shorter cranial base in Homo sapiens. When the same observations were made on two “robust” and two “gracile” australopithecine crania, marked differences were found between the taxa. In the two “robust” specimens, the foramen magnum is located relatively further forward, and the axis of the petrous temporal bone is aligned more nearly with the coronal plane than in the two “gracile” crania.
The implications of this apparent parallelism in basicranial morphology between Homo sapiens and the “robust” australopithecines are discussed.