Body mass and encephalization in Pleistocene Homo

  title={Body mass and encephalization in Pleistocene Homo},
  author={Christopher B. Ruff and Erik Trinkaus and Trenton W. Holliday},
Many dramatic changes in morphology within the genus Homo have occurred over the past 2 million years or more, including large increases in absolute brain size and decreases in postcanine dental size and skeletal robusticity. Body mass, as the 'size' variable against which other morphological features are usually judged, has been important for assessing these changes1–5. Yet past body mass estimates for Pleistocene Homo have varied greatly, sometimes by as much as 50% for the same individuals2… 

Brain size and encephalization in early to Mid-Pleistocene Homo.

  • G. P. Rightmire
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 2004
It is apparent that the (significant) increase in volume documented for the Middle Pleistocene individuals is not simply a consequence of larger body mass, and Encephalization quotient values confirm this finding.

Body size, body proportions, and encephalization in a Middle Pleistocene archaic human from northern China.

  • K. RosenbergLu ZuneC. Ruff
  • Environmental Science
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 2006
The individual analyzed here (Jinniushan) from northeastern China at 260,000 years ago is the largest female specimen yet known in the human fossil record and has body proportions typical of cold-adapted populations elsewhere in the world.

Spatial and temporal variation of body size among early Homo.

Encephalization and allometric trajectories in the genus Homo: Evidence from the Neandertal and modern lineages

The origin of the authors' species may have represented the opportunity to surpass the constraints imposed on encephalization by the ontogenetic pattern shared by nonmodern Homo representatives, and two different evolutionary trajectories are identified.

Decreases in Brain Size and Encephalization in Anatomically Modern Humans

A meta-review of genome-wide association studies finds some evidence for selective pressures acting on human cognitive ability, which may be an evolutionary consequence of the more than 5% loss in brain mass over the past 50,000 years.

Body size, brain size, and sexual dimorphism in Homo naledi from the Dinaledi Chamber.

Body mass estimates of hominin fossils and the evolution of human body size.

Body size and postcranial robusticity of European Upper Paleolithic hominins.

  • T. Holliday
  • Environmental Science
    Journal of human evolution
  • 2002
Data do not support a pattern of behavioral differences between EUP and LUP humans, and therefore more sensitive measures than CA may be required to detect such differences, as these standardized variables are extremely sensitive to limb length differences, and the EUP have longer limbs than their LUP counterparts.

Australopithecus to Homo: Transformations in Body and Mind

▪ Abstract Significant changes occurred in human evolution between 2.5 and 1.8 million years ago. Stone tools first appeared, brains expanded, bodies enlarged, sexual dimorphism in body size

Body Size, Body Shape, and the Circumscription of the Genus Homo

  • T. Holliday
  • Environmental Science
    Current Anthropology
  • 2012
Reanalysis of the Nariokotome pelvis along with the discovery of additional early and middle Pleistocene pelves indicate that a narrow bi-iliac (pelvic) breadth is an autapomorphy specific to Homo sapiens, and it appears that at least some early Homo were characterized by higher humero-femoral indices than the H. sapiens average.



The evolution of body mass and relative brain size in fossil hominids

Investigating one such cranial feature, the area of the orbital aperture, and its correlation with body mass in a large sample of extant primates demonstrates that orbital area is correlated with body Mass atr=0·987.

Body size and proportions in early hominids.

  • H. Mchenry
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1992
These values appear to be consistent with the range of size variation seen in the entire postcranial samples that can be assigned to species, and probably those equations based on the human samples are better than those based on all Hominoidea.

Behavioral ecological implications of early hominid body size

The energetic requirement of the expanded brain may imply altered feeding strategies in both the "robust" australopithecine and Homo lineages.

Size and Scaling in Human Evolution

It is thought that the scheme outlined here should be treated as the null hypothesis to be disproved, and the three australopithecines are, in a number of features, scaled variants of the "same" animal.

Cranial variables as predictors of hominine body mass.

  • L. AielloB. Wood
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1994
Results establish that some cranial variables, and particularly orbital area, orbital height, and biporionic breadth, are nearly as good mass predictors for hominoids as are some of the best postcranial predictors.

Morphological adaptation to climate in modern and fossil hominids

  • C. Ruff
  • Geography, Environmental Science
  • 1994
Application of the simple thermoregulatory principle of increasing and decreasing body surface area/body mass in hot and cold climates, respectively, may explain the major systematic differences in body form between living and fossil hominids inhabiting tropical and higher latitude regions of the world.

Brain Size, Cranial Morphology, Climate, and Time Machines [and Comments and Reply]

Relations between body size and brain size indicate that human populations under severe cold stress obtain large volumes more from rounder cranial shape than from differentiation by total body size.

Fossil Homo femur from Berg Aukas, northern Namibia.

The proximal half of a hominid femur was recovered from deep within a paleokarst feature at the Berg Aukas mine, northern Namibia. The femur is fully mineralized, but it is not possible to place it

Cranial capacity evolution in Homo erectus and early Homo sapiens.

  • S. Leigh
  • Environmental Science
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1992
Patterns of cranial capacity evolution in Homo erectus, early Homo sapiens, and in regional subsamples of H. erectus are investigated with statistical techniques developed for the analysis of time series data and a non-parametric test for trend suggests that Cranial capacity in both H. erectedus and early H. sapiens may increase significantly through time.

Postcranial robusticity in Homo. II: Humeral bilateral asymmetry and bone plasticity.

Skeletal samples of normal modern Euroamericans, prehistoric and early historic Amerindians, and prehistoric Japanese show moderate median asymmetry in diaphyseal cross-sectional areas and polar second moments of area, whereas the tennis-player sample, with pronounced unilateral physical activity, exhibits median asymmetries of 28-57% in the same parameters.