Cool data!

Nick Matzke has
compiled all the data on hominin cranial capacities into a single chart:


I think I can see a pattern there, can you? He also has data on body size and brain size over there, take a gander at it. It looks like a simple and obvious example of evolutionary change in our lineage, I think.

Alas, it only shows specimens older than 10,000 years. I’m sure that right around 6,000 years ago, there was a sudden, dramatic change as the deity injected a soul into those crania.


  1. #1 Cuttlefish, OM
    September 4, 2008

    You silly vertebrates, with your fixation on the size of your brains–
    It gives me pains.

    It isn’t the size,
    It’s what you do with it that determines whether they will call you “wise”.

    The comparison of cranial capacities of all the hominins on that chart
    Is not just worthwhile information–it is also art.

    But, speaking as a cephalopod, I think it would be every bit as dumb
    To look at cranial capacity as it would be to trace the history of your famed opposable thumb.

    Why, look at the size of the cranium on Karl Rove–
    And yet the man is as dumb as a kitchen appliance like a refrigerator or electric stove.

    I’ll take tentacles over thumbs and a flexible nervous system over one stuffed into a skull, and if you don’t think that’s clever
    Well, I never!


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