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Keywords:

  • dwarf galagos;
  • body mass estimation;
  • individual variation

Abstract

This study reports data on 17 craniodental body mass estimators in a sample (n = 38) of dwarf galagos (Galagoides). Correlation coefficients (r) range from a high of 0.64 for bizygomatic breadth and body mass to a low of 0.10 for M3 length and body mass. Of the 17 variables studied, 7 exhibit significant (P < 0.05) correlation coefficients, with 5 of the 7 being multitooth (i.e., tooth row) or cranial variables. In contrast to the correlation coefficients of greater than 0.90 (e.g., Martin [1980] Z Morphol Anthropol 71:115–124; Steudel [1981] Int J Primatol 2:81–90; Gingerich et al. [1982] Am J Phys Anthropol 58:81–100; Conroy [1987] Int J Primatol 8:115–137) published for higher taxonomic level analyses (i.e., all-primate or prosimian) for many of the same variables studied here, the current data indicate weaker relationships when analyzed at the generic level. Possible explanations for the contrast in correlation coefficients between the current and many previous studies include the following: 1) individual variation due to a geographically dispersed sample, 2) individual body mass fluctuations due to seasonal food availability, and 3) individual variation within the sample due to variation in life-history parameters. Because the overall size range of the individuals in a specific or generic level analysis is smaller than that in an ordinal or subordinal sample, the individual variation normally masked when using species means represents a larger proportion of the total variation in a more limited sample. This may then be a cause of these weaker correlations. Am J Phys Anthropol 115:187–190, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.