01 July 2014

The Evolution of Cranial Capacity in Humans and Stem-Humans

(Hey, I'm actually writing on the blog's title subject today!)

Here's a chart I've been working on for a while:

This shows all known human and stem-human individuals, plotted according to stratigraphy and cranial capacity (endocranial volume). The fossil individuals with known cranial capacity are highlighted as white circles; other fossil individuals' probable capacity is inferred from these. The "chimpanzee range" shows the span between a normal female bonobo chimpanzee (Pan paniscus) and a normal male common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) (Begun & Kordos 2004); the full range for chimpanzees (Pan) is slightly larger (but not much). The "human range" shows where about 90% of living humans fall (Burenhult 1993). UPDATE: My mistake, it's the range of ~90% of living humans combined with the range of Upper Pleistocene humans (which is actually higher, on average).

Some notes: