Ontogenetic perspective on mechanical and nonmechanical models of primate circumorbital morphology



Dimensions of the supraorbital torus, postorbital bar, and postorbital septum were collected in an ontogenetic series of Macaca fascicularis and compared with expectations based on models that attribute morphological variation in these features to spatial factors, allometry, anterior dental loading, and neurofacial torsion. Each model was evaluated using correlation, partial correlation, and regression techniques (model I/least squares; model II/reduced major axis) applied to log-transformed and size-corrected data. Results indicate clearly that face or skull size is the primary determinant of variation in circumorbital structures. Strong support is found for the influence of spatial influences on anteroposterior supraorbital torus development (Moss and Young, Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 18:281–292, 1960). Only minor support is noted for the neurofacial torsion model of Greaves (J. Zool. 207:125–136, 1985), and no support is indicated for the anterior dental loading model. The sexes do not differ significantly in any relevant comparisons of ontogenetic trajectories.