Fossil skull endocast collection

Fossil skull endocast collection

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Credit: PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fossil skull endocast collection. Endocasts are internal casts, here of the inside of fossil skulls (the neurocranium, or braincase). Comparing the shape and sizes of such casts is used to compare the brains of different fossil specimens. This allows study of the possible cognitive functions of the hominid and hominin species in the human evolutionary tree. This is one of the biggest endocast collections in the world, housed at the French National Museum of Natural History (MNHN), in Paris, France. At right is French anthropologist Antoine Balzeau. Photographed in 2010.

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