Investigating the relationship between cranial bone thickness and diploic channels: A first comparison between fossil Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis - Sorbonne Université Access content directly
Journal Articles The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology Year : 2023

Investigating the relationship between cranial bone thickness and diploic channels: A first comparison between fossil Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis

Abstract

Abstract Diploic veins are part of the circulatory system of the head. They transport venous blood and cerebrospinal fluid and are housed in diploic channels (DCs). DCs are highly variable in terms of their position, extension, and size. These parameters were hypothesized to be related to the variations in cranial vault thickness (CVT). For the first time, we analyzed the spatial relationship between CVT and DCs in a sample of eight H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens cranial fossils. Using micro‐CT scanning data, we constructed color maps of the CVT and visually inspected whether the regional thickness variation was associated with the morphology and distribution of the DC branches. The results showed that when regional bone thickness was below a certain threshold, no DCs or scattered small DC branches were present. Larger DC branches appeared only when the thickness exceeded the threshold. However, once the threshold was reached, further increases in thickness no longer resulted in more or larger DCs. This study also found that our sample of H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens have different distribution patterns in thin areas, which may affect how their DCs connect with different branches of the middle meningeal vessels. This preliminary study provides evidence for the discussion on the interaction between the cranium, brain, and blood vessels. Future research should include more hominin fossils to better document the variation within each species and possible evolutionary trends among hominin lineages.
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hal-04336005 , version 1 (11-12-2023)

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Jiaming Hui, Antoine Balzeau. Investigating the relationship between cranial bone thickness and diploic channels: A first comparison between fossil Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis. The Anatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology, 2023, ⟨10.1002/ar.25360⟩. ⟨hal-04336005⟩
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