Chapter

The Third Function: A Hypothesis on the Mysterious Skull of Peking Man

Noel T. Boaz and Russell L. Ciochon

in Dragon Bone Hill

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195152913
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199790036 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152913.003.0004
 The Third Function: A Hypothesis on the Mysterious Skull of Peking Man

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This chapter discusses the cranial anatomy of Homo erectus. The evolving hominid skull form is interpreted as resulting from three major functional imperatives: housing a brain rapidly increasing in size, serving as the bony anchor for the teeth and the muscles that move them, and, in the case of Homo erectus, defending against blunt trauma. Paleopathological evidence supporting a defensive function for Homo erectus skull form is discussed.

Keywords: skull; Peking Man; cranial anatomy; Homo erectus; evolution

Chapter.  5818 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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