Skull Comparison Lab Report
We were recently assigned the task of examining, note taking, comparing, and contrasting three different types of skulls. All three had the same basic makeup, but each had its own special features similar to us. The theory that all of us are different in some certain way by form of variation; which set the one apart from the others and made it obviously a different type of organism or species. We had been told to determine which two groups of skulls were most closely related after a series of experiments. We came to the hypothesis, after discussing, that groups two and three would be the closest species out of the three because by simply glancing at the three groups, the physical features were very much alike in the two skulls we chose than in the other. Then after even taking a closer look at them from up close, we found even more evidence that backed up our hypothesis, but didn't prove it yet.
The materials we used to support our hypothesis are as follows:
Skulls 1B, 2A, and 3B.
A measuring tape for quantitative observations
Liquids for putting the skull in when measuring volume
A graduated container for measuring the liquid obtained while measuring volume
Pen and paper for taking observations.
Our procedure was to use the measuring tape to measure the circumference of the eye sockets; the span across the front of the teeth, left to right molar; the bottom of the brow ridge to the bottom of the cranium; the length of the nose; and the span between the top of the jaw to the beginning of the skull's teeth. We then measured the volume of each brain by filling the cranium with water and pouring the water into a graduated cylinder, measure the water and record it. When we were done with all of these experiments, we would record the results and figure the differences between each. We would find the differences by subtracting the results of 1B, from the results of 2A, the results of 1B to the results of 3B. The results of 2A from 3B and 1B, and the results of 3B from 2A and 1B. These figures would tell us the differences between the quantitative results and also give us a more accurate evaluation of this lab.
Besides these quantitative observations we also took notes on the physical appearance and these observations, which gave us our hypothesis also pointed to the conclusion that two and three were most closely related mostly because of the shape of the cranium and the brow ridge difference.
1B 2A 3B
Circumference of Eye: 11cm 11cm 11cm
Molar to molar: 17.5cm 17cm 18cm
Bottom of brow-Bottom of Skull: 39cm 32.5cm 19cm
Top of jaw-beginning of tooth: 12cm 16cm 16cm
Length of nose: 3cm 3cm 4cm
Volume of brain: ??? ??? 340mL
The differences between the three types of skulls are very balanced, but we still believe that skulls two and three are the most closely related, if not for the quantitative results, for the observations made by common sense and physical observations. Since I am not trained (yet) how to determine exactly what the species is, but with the technology today, a trained scientist in the field of biology could easily tell us which were closely related and which weren't. We ran out of time before we could record the volume, but if I could predict what the volume was, I would say that skull 1B would have a very small amount because the physical makeup looked like the cranium was the size of a monkey head. It seemed like the 2nd and 3rd were much more human than the first.
I conclude that throughout common sense observations, notes, research, and through experiments that the skulls that we had hypothesized are the most closely related. I believe in gradualism and also believe that these skulls may have evolved into each other. If this is true, I believe that skull one existed first, then two and three. Skull three looks very human to me and skull two is closer to being human than skull one. My hypothesis, I believe, was proved, over a series of experiments, to be true.
Since I did enjoy this experiment I would like to do more research in the field later in my life. I have learned from it that there is so much work that scientists do and especially archeologists that helps us find the meaning of life.