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Remembering Tilly Edinger, the pioneering ‘brainy’ woman who fled Nazi Germany and founded palaeoneu

This year marks 100 years since the birth of palaeoneurology, the study of “fossil brains”. Notably, it serves as an important reminder of the late Tilly Edinger, without whom the field could not have evolved as it has. Tilly Edinger (1897–1967), a vertebrate paleontologist from Frankfurt, Germany, founded palaeoneurology in 1921 by combining her unique training in geology and neurology. She was the first person to apply a deep-time perspective to brain evolution, and consider endocasts from throughout the geological record as more than mere curiosities.

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