Ape man brain drain indicated as a new way of calculating the brain size of fossil skulls is reported in Science News vol. 153, p374. It has given a much lower value for Australopithecus africanus, an extinct group of apes similar to Lucy. Previous estimates for Australopithecine brain size were around 600mls. The new study gave 515mls, far below the human average brain size of 1400mls. Glenn Conroy of Washington University School of Medicine used the new technique of computerised imaging process in an effort to eliminate some of the guesswork involved in measuring cranial capacity of fossil skulls. Since all “ape-man” skulls have been reconstructed from many broken pieces that do not add up to a complete skull, any gaps must be filled in by guesswork and affect the brain volume calculation.

Editorial Comment: The new estimate for brain size of 515mls for A. africanus reinforces our claim that Australopithecines are merely extinct apes and cannot be used as evidence for evolution. Such decreasing brain size estimates are a reminder that many claims about fossils are more guesses than substance. (Ref. Australopithecus, ape-man, brain)