Aspects of the middle and external ear of early South African hominids

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1979 Sep;51(3):471-4. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330510320.


A brief description of the exposed middle ear from two Swartkrans specimens demonstrates the feasibility of examining the inner auditory structures of existing fossil hominid material. These Swartkrans fossils provide the first clear view of the early hominid middle ear, and their structures appear to be morphologically distinct. The bony anatomy of the external ear of Australopithecus robustus is found to be unique among the South African hominids.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ear, External / anatomy & histology*
  • Ear, Middle / anatomy & histology*
  • Fossils*
  • Haplorhini / anatomy & histology*
  • History, Ancient
  • Humans
  • Paleontology*
  • Primates / anatomy & histology*