Quote: Tobias describes an endocast

Classic Phillip Tobias:

During embryonic, foetal and post-natal life, the form of the calvaria becomes accurately moulded over the surface of the expanding brain. Pulsating, as the brain does with the beating of the heart, the outer surface of the brain imprints itself upon the interior of the brain case. In some areas, the convolutions or gyri leave hollow impressiones gyrorum on the endocranial surface, separated by areas where endocranial ossification has penetrated, to varying degrees, into the sulci between the gyri. With care, one may be able to read off from the surface of an endocranial cast some of the markings that had originally bedizenned the surface of the brain.

Yes, he really wrote “bedizzened.” Unfortunately in a context too long to tweet!


Tobias, P. V. (1987). The brain of Homo habilis: A new level of organization in cerebral evolution. Journal of Human Evolution, 16(7-8), 741-761.