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Keywords:

  • Body weight;
  • Baboons;
  • Craniometrics;
  • Weight estimation

Abstract

Body weights of adult baboons (genera Papio, Mandrillus, and Theropithecus) were gathered from notes of collectors and museum records. However, these data were insufficient to establish mean body weights for all baboon groups. Thus, log cube roots of mean body weights were regressed as functions of the logs of several cranial and dental variables. The resulting least squares regression coefficients were used to estimate weights for 503 adult baboons from cranial measurements. The ability of the various regression functions to assess baboon body weight was determined by comparing reported and estimated mean and individual body weights. The best estimator of baboon body weights was the function derived from the factor scores of a principal components analysis of seven craniometric variables regressed on body weight. However, each of these craniometric variables singly was nearly as precise an estimator of body weight as the multivariate combination of all seven. Other measurements such as dental dimensions and foramen magnum area estimated weight less accurately. Body weight estimates derived from the regression analyses coupled with museum and literature records allowed an assessment of size relationships among all baboon groups.