JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Brain casts of the hominid fossil Australopithecus sp, found in the limestone caves at Sterkfontein, South Africa in 1936. The specimen at top right was found by palaeoanthropologist Robert Broom. Endocasts are formed when petrified sediments fill the cranium after death. They are casts of the brain case and represent fossil brains. The australopithecines are thought to be the oldest known group of hominids. They date from 3.7 to 1.6 million years ago & were widely distributed through Africa. Three species are known & two distinct types, gracile & robust are apparent; the former lightly-built & omnivorous, the latter heavily built and vegetarian.
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