Bipedalism, birth and brain evolution

Monday, May 7, 2012 - 16:00 in Paleontology & Archaeology

CT scans of an Australopithecine skull provide clues to the forces that shaped human brain evolutionOne of the things that makes our species unique is our exceptionally large brain relative to body size. Brain size more than tripled during the course of human evolution, and this size increase was accompanied by a significant reorganization of the cerebral cortex, the prominent convoluted structure responsible for complex mental functions, which accounts for something like 85% of total brain volume.What evolutionary forces drove this dramatic increase in brain size? Many theories have been put forward over the years, a popular one being that our ancestors' brains expanded to accommodate the faculty of language. A fossilized skull fragment belonging to a human ancestor that lived several million years ago provides yet more clues. A new analysis of the skull suggests that human brain evolution may have been shaped by changes in the female...

Read the whole article on The Guardian - Science

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