• sinus;
  • paranasal;
  • anthropoid;
  • homology


In this study, the phylogenetic significance of anthropoid paranasal sinus anatomy is explored. New information reported in recent years has precipitated new hypotheses of sinus homology and more than doubled the number of anthropoid genera for which confident assessments of sinus identity can be made. As a result, it is likely that the phylogenetic meaning of commonly cited characters such as the ethmoid and frontal sinuses will change. The traditional method of “character mapping” is employed to test hypotheses of sinus homology and to reconstruct the ancestral states for sinus characters in major anthropoid clades. Results show that most sinuses appear to be primitive retentions in anthropoids, with their absences in various genera representing losses. Accordingly, many of these sinuses are potential anthropoid synapomorphies. Anat Rec, 291:1485–1498, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.