Publication: Frontal sinuses and human evolution.
Full text at PDC
Advisors (or tutors)
American Association for the Advancement of Science ( AAAS)
The frontal sinuses are cavities inside the frontal bone located at the junction between the face and the cranial vault and close to the brain. Despite a long history of study, understanding of their origin and variation through evolution is limited. This work compares most hominin species’ holotypes and other key individuals with extant hominids. It provides a unique and valuable perspective of the variation in sinuses position, shape, and dimensions based on a simple and reproducible methodology. We also observed a covariation between the size and shape of the sinuses and the underlying frontal lobes in hominin species from at least the appearance of Homo erectus. Our results additionally undermine hypotheses stating that hominin frontal sinuses were directly affected by biomechanical constraints resulting from either chewing or adaptation to climate. Last, we demonstrate their substantial potential for discussions of the evolutionary relationships between hominin species.