Letter | Published:

Fossil hominid body weight and brain size

Abstract

RELIABLE estimates of body weights in early hominids are essential to the study of their brains and body proportions1. Obviously the evolution of the size of the human brain must be studied in terms of the size of the body. Although the endocranial volume is known for many individual fossil hominids, body weight is poorly known. The present study is an attempt to estimate body weight of the South African Plio-Pleistocene hominids as accurately as possible from the available fossil evidence. East African early hominid postcrania are excluded because of the difficulty in taxonomic assessment, especially within the genus Australopithecus.

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