The mechanisms governing the expansion of neuron number in specific brain regions are still poorly understood. Enlarged neuron numbers in different species are often anticipated by increased numbers of progenitors dividing in the subventricular zone. Here we present live imaging analysis of radial glial cells and their progeny in the ventral telencephalon, the region with the largest subventricular zone in the murine brain during neurogenesis. We observe lineage amplification by a new type of progenitor, including bipolar radial glial cells dividing at subapical positions and generating further proliferating progeny. The frequency of this new type of progenitor is increased not only in larger clones of the mouse lateral ganglionic eminence but also in cerebral cortices of gyrated species, and upon inducing gyrification in the murine cerebral cortex. This implies key roles of this new type of radial glia in ontogeny and phylogeny.