Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/204

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sion of a man-ape, it being understood that the skull we are describing is not a natural, but an anomalous formation."[1]

It would be difficult to imagine, indeed, that mere reduction in the size of the brain, through arrest of development, should produce a series of characters so closely resembling the apes as is found to be the case in so many widely-separated examples. Thus, in the Mauritius microcephalic skull the capacity is only twenty-five cubic inches. The jaws are extremely prognathous, the zygomatic arches stand out wide and free, and the temporal ridges approach within one and a quarter inch. If such examples should prove to be veritable cases of reversion, then we have a parallel in the startling appearance of the long-lost rudimentary toes of the horse, traces of which are only seen in the hidden splint-bones. In the "Seventh Annual Report of the Archæological Museum," Prof. Wyman describes a microcephalic skull from the ancient huacals of Peru. Its capacity is only thirty-three cubic inches; "the frontal bone is much slanted backward, has a decided ridge corresponding to the frontal suture, and is slightly concave on each side of it."

Wyman states that the bones of the head are well formed, though, from the diminutive size of the brain, idiocy must have existed.

Associated with the remarkable collection of platycnemic tibiæ and perforated humeri discovered by Mr. Henry Gillman, we should have expected some anomalous forms of crania, and in this expectation we are not disappointed.

In company with two skulls which appear to be normal, Mr. Gillman discovered one of most remarkable proportions. Wyman considers it a case of extreme individual variation, and not the result of artificial deformity. The skull in question has only a capacity of fifty-six cubic inches. The average capacity of Indian crania, according to Morton's measurements, being eighty-four cubic inches, and the minimum capacity being sixty-nine cubic inches, the skull of Gillman is therefore thirteen cubic inches less than the smallest Indian skull heretofore described. But more extraordinary still is the approximation of the temporal ridges. While in ordinary crania the separation of these ridges is usually from three to four inches, and never less than two inches, in this unique skull from the Detroit River mound the ridges in question approach within three-quarters of an inch, in this respect, as Wyman says, presenting the same condition as that of the chimpanzee. A rounded median crest can be distinctly seen and felt between these ridges, and the skull is markedly depressed on each side for the passage of the powerful mastoid muscles.

Is this, too, a case of partial reversion? Such extraordinary forms as the Neanderthal and Engis skulls, and the one above cited, with the La Naulette and other lower jaws, could not have been uncommon in those early days, since the chances against finding them

  1. "Seventh Annual Report of the Peabody Archæological Museum."