Article ...

 ... in a Journal

Author:

Urquiza, Rafael [PublicAdministrativeSpace:Botella, M. C.] Ciges, Miguel

Title:

Study of a temporal bone of Homo heildelbergensis.

Journal:

Acta oto-laryngologica

Number:

5

Volume:

125

Year:

2005

Pages:

457-63

Keywords:

'Animals' 'Hominidae' 'Temporal Bone' 'Tomography, X-Ray Computed'

ISBN:

ISSN:

0001-6489

URL:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16092533

Abstract:

CONCLUSIONS:The characteristic features of the Hh specimen conformed to those of other Pleistocene human fossils, indicating strong cranial structures and a heavy mandible. The mastoid was large and suggested a powerful sternocleidomastoid muscle. The inner ear and tympanic cavities were similar in size and orientation, suggesting that their functions were probably similar. Our observations suggest that the left ear of this Hh specimen was healthy. The large canaliculo-fenestral angle confirms that this ancestor was bipedal. It also strongly suggests that Hh individuals were predisposed to develop certain pathologies of the labyrinth capsule associated with bipedalism, in particular otosclerosis. OBJECTIVE:We studied a temporal bone of Homo heidelbergensis (Hh) in order to investigate the clinical and physiological implications of certain morphological features, especially those associated with the evolutionary reorganization of the inner ear. MATERIAL AND METHODS:The bone, found in a breach of a cave near MAáaga in southern Spain, together with Middle Upper Pleistocene faunal remains, is >300000 years old. Four analytical methods were employed. A 3D high-resolution surface laser scan was used for anatomical measurements. For the sectional analysis of the middle and inner ears of Hh we used high-resolution CT, simultaneously studying a normal temporal bone from Homo sapiens sapiens (Hss). To study the middle and inner ear spaces we used 3D reconstruction CT preceded by an intra-bone air shielding technique. To examine the tympanic cavities and measure the canaliculo fenestral angle, we used a special minimally invasive endoscopic procedure. RESULTS:The surface, sectional and 3D CT examinations showed that the Hh specimen was generally more robust and larger than the Hss specimen. It had a large glenoid fossa. The external meatus was wide and deep. The middle ear, and especially the mastoid, was large and widely pneumatized. There were no appreciable differences in the position and size of the labyrinthine spaces and tympanic cavity. The dimensions of the semicircular canals were similar to those of the Hss specimen. Endoscopy revealed normal, healthy tympanic walls and an ossicle fragment in the atticum that probably belonged to the body of the malleus. The diameters of the fallopian duct and the tympanic opening of the Eustachian tube were large. The canaliculo-fenestral angle was approximately 114 degrees
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