Re: Australopithicus factual info

Jim Foley (
27 Jun 1995 14:57:02 GMT

>>> Jim Foley said:
>> Yes, this sounds like Sts 5 (Mrs Ples). Sts 5 was female, and in
>> africanus the males were probably considerably bigger than the males. I
>> think it's probable that plenty of male (and even female) piths had
>> brains over 500 cc; we just don't have a big enough sample size to have
>> found them yet.

>>Ralph L Holloway <> wrote:
>"Mrs, MS" Ples, or STS 5 had a cranial capacity of 485 cc. No one knows
>whether it was a female or not. Up until recently, it was the biggest
>gracile australopithecine brain endocast that I've studied. The word is
>that there is something bigger from Sterkfontein and either Phillip
>Tobias or Ron Clarke will be describing it. Could be about 500 cc+.
>Many of the endocasts were over estimated, particularly the robust
>ones, and of course the Taung child. But "Mrs" Ples has not teeth, so
>we cannot truly be certain "she" was a "she".. RalphHolloway

Apologies for making it sound 100% certain. A lot of sources call it a
female (and it is called "Mrs Ples"!), so I assumed I was on firm
ground. Any feeling on whether it is still most probably a female, or
is it just as likely to be a male?

While discussing pith skulls, here's another question I'd been meaning
to ask today. In a 1992 paper by Kimbel and Rak, they say that AL 444-2
is the biggest australopithecine skull yet found. Has anyone measured
the size of this brain yet?

Jim (Chris) Foley,
Assoc. Prof. of Omphalic Envy Research interest:
Department of Anthropology Primitive hominids
University of Ediacara (Australopithecus creationistii)