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Dragon Bone HillAn Ice Age Saga of Homo erectus$
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Noel T. Boaz and Russell L. Ciochon

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152913.001.0001

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The Third Function: A Hypothesis on the Mysterious Skull of Peking Man

The Third Function: A Hypothesis on the Mysterious Skull of Peking Man

Chapter:
(p.74) CHAPTER 4 The Third Function: A Hypothesis on the Mysterious Skull of Peking Man
Source:
Dragon Bone Hill
Author(s):

Noel T. Boaz

Russell L. Ciochon

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152913.003.0004

This chapter discusses the cranial anatomy of Homo erectus. The evolving hominid skull form is interpreted as resulting from three major functional imperatives: housing a brain rapidly increasing in size, serving as the bony anchor for the teeth and the muscles that move them, and, in the case of Homo erectus, defending against blunt trauma. Paleopathological evidence supporting a defensive function for Homo erectus skull form is discussed.

Keywords:   skull, Peking Man, cranial anatomy, Homo erectus, evolution

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