Sunday, 8 August 2010

Did Hominids Who May Have Been Smarter Than Us exist?

Google "Boskops" and you will find a lot of speculation and debates about this group of hominids. I'm going to post below some interesting links where you can find full debates.

The below skull was found in the autumn of 1913 by two farmers digging a drainage ditch in a small town called Boskop, about 200 miles inland from the east coast of South Africa.

These farmers took the skull to the director of the Port Elizabeth Museum, in a small town at the tip of South Africa and the it came to the attention of S. H. Haughton, one of the country’s few formally trained paleontologists.



The Boskop man's skull was originally claimed to be 30 percent larger than that of modern humans therefore more intelligent. Another strange feature was that these people had small, childlike faces. Anyone having a deja-vu around alien abduction movies?

More info here:
http://discovermagazine.com/2009/the-brain-2/28-what-happened-to-hominids-who-were-smarter-than-us

1 comment:

  1. Small, child-like faces plus a strangely elongated skull equals saggital craniosynostosis.

    My daughter was born with it; it happens about once every 30,000 births these days. It means the saggital suture in the baby's skull (the gap that runs front to back across the top of the head) is already fused together at birth, instead of being a narrow gap that expands faster than bone can grow, to allow for the fast growth of the brain.

    The end result is that the face stays very narrow, because the head can't expand sideways very quickly; but since only one gap is affected, the other gaps (or 'sutures') make up the difference, and you get a very large bulge out at the back of the skull. Because the brain can still expand to its full size (it can't if two sutures are fused, but it can if only one is) there is no mental impairment, but it looks bloody weird, and there are some unexpected side effects: my daughter, by the time she had the corrective surgery at four months, couldn't lie on her back and look straight up; she'd have to have her head to one side or the other; and in car seats, the only way she could turn her head from left to right was by bringing her chin right down to her chest to allow the bump at the back to move.

    She did have corrective surgery, and is just fine these days, several years later. What surprises me the most about this "discovery," though, is that the condition was not only known, but already being corrected surgically a hundred years ago, although it's a rare enough condition that I'm not surprised the paleontologist hadn't heard of it.

    Still, I'm positive that genetic testing would reveal that the owner of the skull was 100% human.

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