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Keywords:

  • golden monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana and R. bieti);
  • masticatory apparatus;
  • allometric;
  • multivariate analyses

Abstract

The masticatory apparatus for two endemic species of golden monkey in China, Rhinopithecus bieti and Rhinopithecus roxellana, were compared with those of macaques, Macaca and leaf monkeys, Presbytis. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that the two golden monkey species are distinct. Interspecies allometric analyses revealed that golden monkeys differ in their masticatory apparatus from both macaques and leaf monkeys. The prominent symphysial fusion, corpus, and sagittal condylar dimension of R. roxellana may produce efficient biting force on the incisal and posterior canine teeth, with the heavy reaction force born on the temporomandibular joint. However, the well-developed bizygamatic width and mandibular height in R. bieti suggest that posterior canine function is similarly prominent in R. roxellana, while incisal function is not. © 1995 Wiley-Liss, Inc.