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Am J Phys Anthropol. 2014 Jun;154(2):302-6. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22506. Epub 2014 Mar 10.

Brief communication: Investigation of the semicircular canal variation in the Krapina Neandertals.

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Department of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ, 85004.


Previous studies comparing bony labyrinth morphology in geographically-dispersed samples of Neandertals and modern Homo sapiens (H. sapiens) showed that Neandertals generally have smaller semicircular canals than modern H. sapiens (Hublin et al., ; Spoor et al., ; Glantz et al., ). Here we analyze the morphology of a single group of Neandertal specimens from one locale, the Krapina site, to determine the intraspecific variation in Neandertal semicircular canal sizes. Dimensions of the semicircular canals were collected from computed tomography scans of nine temporal bones. With the rare exception, the dimensions of the semicircular canals in the Krapina sample are similar to those previously reported across a geographically-dispersed sample of Neandertals, further supporting previous studies that suggest low levels of variation in the semicircular canals for Neandertals.


hominid; temporal bone; vestibular system

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