Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/202

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Indian; and more than half the lot from Kauai had the peculiarity in the nostrils first pointed out in the negro by Dr. John Neil, of Philadelphia, namely, the deficiency of the sharp ridge which forms the lower border of the opening. In its place is a rounded border, or an inclined plane.

This feature occurs very frequently in different races, but more rarely in Europeans. It is, however, never absent in the apes. Prof. Wyman, in studying the characters of certain ancient crania from a burial-place near Shell Mound, Florida, observed the foramen magnum quite far back, and remarks on the massive character of the bones composing the skull, the parietal being nearly twice the thickness of ordinary parietals, while the general roughness of the surfaces for muscular attachments on the hinder part of the head is very striking.[1]

In certain measurements of synostotic crania, Prof. "Wyman found that the length of the parietals was twenty-four millimetres above the average, the parietals being lengthened from before backward, the frontal and occipital being but slightly augmented. Now, in the much-discussed Neanderthal skull, wherein it is urged by Dr. Davis that it is a synostotic skull, though denied by Huxley, Wyman shows that the parietals measure nine millimetres below the average, which is certainly against the view that the Neanderthal skull is synostotic.[2]

In an essay entitled "Observations on Crania and Other Parts of. the Skeleton," Prof. Wyman shows that the relative capacity of the skull "is to be considered merely as an anatomical and not as a physiological characteristic,"[3] a most important distinction certainly in considering the large capacity of certain ancient skulls, since we must know the quality as well as the quantity in order to assume the intellectual position of the races. In this essay are also quoted the results of a large series of measurements made by Dr. B. A. Gould, in which it is shown that the arms of the blacks are relatively longer as compared with the whites, in this respect approaching the higher animals, a confirmation of the observations made by Broca, Pruner Bey, Lawrence, and others.

The perforation of the humerus, which occurs in the apes quite generally, was found to occur rarely in the white race. Of fifty humeri, Wyman found but two perforated, while of Indian humeri he found thirty-one per cent, perforated. In some of the remains of ancient men there has been found a remarkable lateral flattening of the tibia, unlike anything found at present, but always characteristic of the earliest races. These tibiæ have received the name of platycnemic tibiæ.

  1. "Fourth Annual Report of the Peabody Archæological Museum. Cambridge."
  2. "Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History," vol. xi., p. 455.
  3. "Fourth Annual Report of the Peabody Archæological Museum."