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Keywords:

  • Fetal;
  • Craniofacial;
  • Growth;
  • Macaca nemestrina

Abstract

The prenatal growth of the macaque craniofacial skeleton is described using lateral radiographs of 82 fetal and 25 neonatal Macaca nemestrina whose known gestational ages range from 50 to 186 days. The ossification sequence of the craniofacial bones resembles that in the human fetus. During gestation, the macaque neurocranium loses its round, globular shape, becoming flattened and elongated in an anteroposterior direction. In contrast, the morphologic pattern of the face is established early in fetal life, and little change takes place during the remaining prenatal period. The macaque craniofacial dimensions develop along the general skeletal growth pattern, unlike the human craniofacial dimensions, which follow an intermediate pattern between the neural and general skeletal patterns. However, despite minor differences, the macaque and human fetal faces follow the same basic patterns of growth.