Australopithecus and gorilla brains

Australopithecus and gorilla brains

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Australopithecus and gorilla brains. Historical artwork comparing the brain sizes of an early hominid (Australopithecus, from 4-2 million years ago) and a gorilla (brains seen from behind, scale in millimetres). The Australopithecus brain (dark grey, only half seen) is superimposed on the gorilla brain (pink). Artwork is from 1931, when such comparisons helped decide if Australopithecus was an early hominid (somewhere between an ape and a human) or an ape. It is now considered an early hominid, but with a brain that was not much larger than that of a chimpanzee. A human brain is much larger. This work is based on the first specimen of Australopithecus, found in 1924. Artwork from New Discoveries relating to The Antiquity of Man (Sir Arthur Keith, 1931).

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