Sample Essay Paper on Crania Project

Cranium A

This is a skull that belongs to Homo erectus or the Peking man. The scientific name is derived from two Latin words. Homo means human and is the genus name of the skull. Erectus is the species name and implies that the species is able to stand and walk upright. It was discovered between 100000 and 1600000 years ago. Eugene Dubois was the first scientist to discover this fossil in his search for the missing link in human revolution.

The skull has key physical features that distinguish it from other skulls. It has a large skull with a sloping, low forehead and a wide flat nose and a big brow ridge. The skull is also long and broad with sharp angles at its edges. This is different from the smooth curves in the skulls of the modern human. It could be observed from the image that the skull had very thick bones that formed a ridge at just between the sockets. The central ridge is known as the midline keel. The jaw of the skull is thick and large and lacks a pointed chin. The molar teeth are decreased and are almost matching size of the molars found in the modern man.

Cranium B

The skull belongs to the Homo heidelbergensis. It lived between 300000 to 600000 years ago. The fossil is estimated to have lived in Asia, Europe and African continents. The African brothers were older than their European counter-parts.the most important discovery of the skull was made in 1907 at Mauer quarry near Heidelberg, Germany. The skull derived its scientific name from Homo which means human and heidelbergensis meaning it was discovered in Heidelberg.

The main physical features that distinguish this species from others include its large brain which is estimated to be 1250 cubic centimeters. It has enlarged parietal and frontal lobes of the brain that was believed to indicate ability to increase complexity of the brain. The skull has orbital constriction behind the sockets. The brow ridge is double arched but moderate with a sloping forehead just above the sockets. It had a wide nasal opening.

Cranium C

The skull belongs to Australopithecus aethiopicus. The cranial capacity is 450 cc and was first discovered in southern Ethiopia in 1967.KNM-WT 17000. Its features include a wide palate with a thick flat roof the large rooted molars have broken roots.

The cranial features represent that of an ape with a large brow ridge above the eye sockets. It has a broad face with flaring cheekbones. The species walked upright as evidence by the spinal cord that passed through the base of its skull. Its jaw is large and strong to allow for the attachment of strong muscles used for chewing. The front teeth are smaller compared to large molar teeth. The molar teeth were adapted for the grinding and crushing tough food mostly from the plants.

Cranium D

The skull belongs to Australopithecus afarensis and was first discovered in the afar depression in Ethiopia. It lived between 3.9 to 2.8 million years ago. It was discovered by a team led by Donald Johanson. The team discovered the fossil with the same characteristics with those found by Mary Leakey in Tanzania and gave them the name of Australopithecus afarensis.

The skull has distinctive features that differentiate it from the rest. It has a small brain that is approximately 430 cubic centimeters comprising of about 1.3 percent of its total body weight. The brain is organized enlarged cerebral cortex. The skull has relatively narrow and long jaws with long scissor teeth in front.

Cranium E

The skull belongs to Homo sapiens. It represents that of a Homo sapiens, meaning the modern man. The word sapiens was chosen to show that it was wise compared to other humans that came before it. The term Cro-Magnon is used to represent the human beings with such skull and was found mainly in Europe

Homo sapiens have a brain size of about 1350 cubic centimeters and this make up about 2.2 per cent of the whole body weight. Early Homo sapiens had larger brains than the modern Homo sapiens. Their size was 1500 cubic centimeters.

The skull has a high braincase with a short base. The skull is different from other skull because of its broad top. It has a round back to show its reduced neck muscles and has a reasonably smaller face. The forehead is relatively tall and a limited brow ridge. The eye sockets are not rounded like in other skulls but are instead square in shape.

The jaw is short resulting in a relatively vertical face. The jaw is also lightly built and has a bony chick to offer support

Cranium F

The skull belongs to Australopithecus africanus. It lived approximately 3 million years ago. The scientific name is derived from Latin word Australo meaning southern ape and pithecus which means ape. Africanus is italized from the word Africa to show where it was discovered. The basic features include brain of an approximately 480 cubic centimeters. The skull had slightly arched forehead and small brow ridge. These features are almost identical to those of the modern human. The canines and incisor are smaller and shorter .The molar and premolar was quite large.

Family Tree

Australopithecus afarensis – Australopithecus africanus – Australopithecus aethiopicus – Homo erectus – Homo heidelbergensis – Homo sapiens.