Inside an Ancient Monkey Skull
The brain hidden inside the oldest known Old World monkey skull has been visualized for the first time. The ancient monkey, known as Victoriapithecus, first made headlines in 1997 when its 15 million-year-old skull was discovered on an island in Kenya’s Lake Victoria. Now, thanks to X-ray imaging, researchers have peered inside its cranial cavity and created a three-dimensional computer model of what the animal’s brain looked like. The tiny but remarkably wrinkled brain supports the idea that brain complexity can evolve before brain size in primates. Photo courtesy of Fred Spoor of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.