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Cranial capacity is a measure of the volume of the interior of the cranium (also called the braincase or brainpan) of those vertebrates who have both a cranium and a brain. The most commonly used unit of measure is the cubic centimetre or cc. The volume of the cranium is used as a rough indicator of the size of the brain, and this in turn is used as a rough indicator of the potential intelligence of the organism. However, larger cranial capacity is not always indicative of a more intelligent organism, since larger capacities are required for controlling larger more muscular bodies, or in some cases are an adaptive feature for life in a colder environment. The largest human cranium on record belongs to Robert Vollmar, age 21.
Examples of cranial capacity:
- Orangutans: 275–500 cc
- Chimpanzees: 275–500 cc
- Gorillas: 340–752 cc
- Humans: 1100–1700 cc
- Neanderthals: 1200–1700 cc
Examples of early hominids:
|Taxon||Size (cc)||# of Specimens||Age (MYA)|
- McHenry, Henry M. . "23: Introduction to the fossil record of human ancestry" Walter C. Hartwig The Primate Fossil Record (in English), 402, Cambridge University Press. 0521663156.
- Lynn, R. (2006). Race Differences in Intelligence: An Evolutionary Analysis. ISBN 1-59368-021-X.
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