Évolution du chondrocrâne et de la face des grands anthropoïdes miocènes jusqu'à Homo sapiens, continuités et discontinuités


fr Comptes Rendus Palevol 5 (1-2) - Pages 109-117

Published on 28 February 2006

This article is a part of the thematic issue Climates - Culture - Society in prehistoric times. From the appearance of hominids to the Neolithic.

Evolution of chondocranium and face in hominids up to Homo sapiens: continuities and discontinuities

The chondocranium forms the base of the embryonic mammal cranium, with three cartilaginous nucleuses, the basi-ethmoid, the basi-sphenoid and the basi-occipital, all in a same alignment. They are differently aligned at birth, with a verticalization of the facial pole towards the occipital pole. The origin of this verticalization is the rotation of the basi-sphenoid, consequence of the rolling up of the underlying neural tube. The hominids and their descendants present a more important rotation than the living and fossil apes and, for the first time, is permanent from child to adult. Their apparition is inscribed in a process perceivable when one considers time at a large scale: continuous but presenting discontinuous effects.


Chondrocranium, face, sphenoid, punctuated equilibria, bipedalism, paradigm

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