In the present study the course of the squamotympanic fissure of the mandibular fossa is examined in several fossil hominid specimens. While previous work by several authors had found that the course of this fissure was potentially autapomorphic for the Ngandong and Sambungmacan fossil samples from Indonesia, a more recent study performed by Delson et al. (Anat Rec 2001; 262:380-397) reported that a number of other fossils, including OH 9, Sangiran 4 and 17, and KNM WT 15000 were similar to the Ngandong and Sambungmacan specimens in the expression of this feature. To test these findings, those specimens purported to share similarities with Ngandong and Sambungmacan were examined. The results of this study indicate clearly differing morphologies between the Ngandong and Sambungmacan fossils, on the one hand, and the four African and Indonesian fossils named by Delson et al. (2001). Hence, the course of the squamotympanic fissure remains a potentially autapomorphic feature separating the Ngandong and Sambungmacan samples from the remaining specimens allocated to Homo erectus.
- Homo erectus
- Squamotympanic fissure