The crescent of foramina in Australopithecus afarensis and other early hominids

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10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The crescent of foramina of the cerebral surface of the sphenoid bone (superior orbital fissure, foramen rotundum, foramen ovale, foramen spinosum) differs morphologically in the African great apes and modern humans. New discoveries of Australopithecus afarensis at Hadar, Ethiopia, draw attention to the similarity of the crescent, particularly the 'foramen' shape of the superior orbital fissure and its close proximity to the foramen rotundum, in this species, the African apes, and many other primates. Australopithecus africanus also shows this primitive pattern, whereas 'robust' australopiths and humans share a configuration in which a true, laterally extended superior orbital fissure intervenes between the greater and lesser wings of the sphenoid and a broad bridge of bone separates the fissure from the foramen rotundum. This shared morphology may be added to the list of putative 'robust' australopith-Homo synapomorphies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of physical anthropology
Volume101
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1996

Keywords

  • Australopithecus
  • Foramen rotundum
  • Hadar
  • Sphenoid bone
  • Superior orbital fissure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

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