A Bivariate Approach to the Variation of the Parietal Curvature in the Genus Homo



The parietal bones approximately cover the extension of the underlying parietal lobes. Although the boundaries of these two anatomical elements do not coincide, during morphogenesis the growth of the parietal bones is largely induced by the pressure exerted by the parietal lobes. Modern humans display larger parietal chords and arcs compared with non-modern human species. However, the variation of these variables have not been analyzed before according to the covariation with the general endocranial diameters. When the curvature of the parietal bones is regressed onto the main neurocranial distances, modern humans show larger relative values, suggesting not only an absolute enlargement but a definite allometric change. Taking into account the morphogenetic relationships with the parietal lobes, these results further support previous hypotheses suggesting a relative enlargement of these cortical areas in Homo sapiens, by using simple and reliable homologous neurocranial arcs. Anat Rec, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.