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Hominins do not share a common postnatal facial ontogenetic shape trajectory

Cobb, S.N. and O'Higgins, P. (2004) Hominins do not share a common postnatal facial ontogenetic shape trajectory. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 302B (3). pp. 302-321. ISSN 1552-5007

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This paper examines the hypothesis raised by recent studies that postnatal trajectories of shape change in the facial skeleton are parallel between, at least, chimpanzees, modern humans and also fossil hominins, specifically australopithecines and possibly Neanderthals. In contrast, other studies point to divergences in postnatal shape trajectories within diverse groups of primates. As such there is some debate regarding the relative contributions of pre and postnatal ontogeny to adult morphological differences. This paper presents a series of geometric morphometric studies of the ontogeny of facial shape in hominins with the specific aim of resolving these issues. The results indicate that many differences in facial shape between hominins are established prenatally, however highly significant divergences of postnatal facial ontogeny are found among living hominins. Our studies point to possible differences between the shape ontogeny of the Australopithecus africanus face and that of African apes on the one hand and humans on the other. However, sampling experiments indicate that the small sample size of available specimens of A. africanus does not permit any conclusions to be drawn regarding comparative shape ontogeny of the face.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Hull York Medical School (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2009 12:21
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2009 12:21
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.21005
Status: Published
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1002/jez.b.21005
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6681

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