The cranial venous sinus system in Australopithecus afarensis

  title={The cranial venous sinus system in Australopithecus afarensis},
  author={Dean Falk and Glenn C. Conroy},
An enlarged occipital-marginal venous sinus system occurs in much higher frequencies in cranial remains of robust australopithecines and Australopithecus afarensis than in crania representing other fossil or extant hominids. A detailed functional interpretation of this ‘accessory’ sinus system is suggested here. Such a system would have permitted blood to flow preferentially to either the vertebral or the internal jugular system, depending on postural and respiratory changes, and thus provides… 

Evolution of cranial blood drainage in hominids: enlarged occipital/marginal sinuses and emissary foramina.

  • D. Falk
  • Biology
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1986
The findings suggest that selection for bipedalism initially resulted in epigenetic adaptations for routes to deliver blood to the vertebral plexus including an enlarged O/M sinus system and hypoglossal canals, but that the pressures underlying these adaptations relaxed as bipedALism became established.

Evidence for a dual pattern of cranial venous sinuses on the endocranial cast of Taung (Australopithecus africanus).

This report describes, for the first time, an enlarged occipital-marginal sinus system on the endocranial cast of the Taung specimen, which is part of the holotype of A. africanus.

Functional, morphogenetic and phylogenetic significance of conjunction between cardioid foramen magnum and enlarged occipital and marginal venous sinuses

The senior author has concluded that, in these Ethiopian hominids as well, the shape of the foramen magnum was most probably cardioid, and the remarkable association of enlarged occipital and marginal sinuses and of cardioid foramina magna is proposed.

Hominid evolution of the arteriovenous system through the cranial base and its relevance for craniosynostosis

The Radiator Theory is the evolution of the functionally efficient brain cooling system, fixed in the A. robustus lineage, tying hydrostatic consequences of bipedalism with release of a “thermal constraint” on the encephalizing brain, and reflected in the authors' own ontogeny.

Cranial morphology of Australopithecus afarensis: a comparative study based on a composite reconstruction of the adult skull.

The Pliocene hominid species Australopithecus afarensis is represented by cranial, dental, and mandibular remains from Hadar, Ethiopia, and Laetoli, Tanzania and appears to retain a primitive, rather than derived, morphology.

Endocranial features of Australopithecus africanus revealed by 2- and 3-D computed tomography.

Results show that endocranial capacity in this specimen is less than originally proposed and also support the view that gracile and robust australopithecines evolved different cranial venous outflow patterns in response to upright postures.

A cranial base of Australopithecus robustus from the hanging remnant of Swartkrans, South Africa.

Cranial base measures of SKW 18 expand the range of values previously recorded for A. robustus, provides information on anatomical features not previously visible in this taxon, and expands the knowledge of morphological variability recognizable in the cranial base.

Occipital Emissary Foramina in South Indian Modern Human Skulls

A new finding is that bilateral foramina were observed in 3 skulls (14.28%).

The basilar venous plexus

Clinicians and radiologists should take into account this variability when managing cerebral venous disorders or interpreting imaging studies of the skull base by elucidate further the anatomy of this structure of the posterior cranial fossa venous structure.

Taxonomic affinities of the immature hominid crania from Hadar and Taung

A study of the facial morphology of the Taung specimen which, together with recent observations on its dentition, provides strong evidence against the allocation of theTaung child to the Paranthropus clade.



Cranial asymmetry in Ceboid primates: The emissary foramina

The aim of this study is to contribute to the growing literature on cerebral asymmetries by partially filling in this gap in the authors' knowledge of New World primate biology.

Cerebral brain endocast pattern of Australopithecus afarensis hominid

A preliminary description of that endocast appears that despite its smallish pongid-sized brain, some degree of cerebral organization had occurred almost 3–4 Myr ago towards a more human pattern, which would mean that brain size increase may well have followed locomotion, but that brain organization may have occurred early in hominid evolution.


The evidence of right-sided predominance of the venous outflow from the brain was recognized at an early date by both Hunauld 2 and Morgagni and has been summarized in table 1.

The development of certain human dural venous sinuses.

A critical analysis of Streeter's (1915, 1918) accounts of the development of the human dural venous sinuses suggests that certain contained morphological interpretations are incorrect; in particular, those concerning the superior petrosal and petro-squamous sinuses and the post-glenoid vein.

New australopithecine endocast, SK 1585, from Swartkrans, South Africa

The new SK 1585 endocast, found by Dr. Brain at Swartkrans, 1966, is that of a robust australopithecine, matching the endocast of the Olduvai Hominid 5 in volume, and being almost identical to it in

The development of mammalian dural venous sinuses with especial reference to the post-glenoid vein.

The intracranial venous outflow of mammals drains into both the internal and external jugular veins and the relative role of these two veins varies between different adult mammals as well as at

New Australopithecines from East Rudolf, Kenya. II.

Eleven new specimens of fossil hominids from the Plio-Pleistocene sediments of Lake Rudolf, Kenya, are described, including a massive mandible with partially preserved dentition and an almost complete right ascending ramus.

Cerebral venous hemodynamics and the basicranium of Cebus.

  • G. Conroy
  • Medicine
    American journal of physical anthropology
  • 1980
It is suggested that certain hemodynamic properties of cerebral venous drainage in Cebus represent patterns that were most likely present in ancestral catarrhines.

An angiographic study of the meningorachidian venous system.

The hemodynamics of this entire system were found to be conditioned by body position since these veins were also shown to be a major pathway of return from the distal part of the body when it is in the vertical position, with the head down.

New hominids from East Turkana, Kenya.

Thirty-five new fossil hominid specimens are described from the Plio-Pleistocene sediments to the east of Lake Turkana, proposing that they should be attributed to the family Hominidae, with genus and species undetermined until detailed comparative studies have been undertaken.