The Paranasal Sinuses: The Last Frontier in Craniofacial Biology



This special issue of the Anatomical Record explores the presence and diversity of paranasal sinuses in distinct vertebrate groups. The following topics are addressed in particular: dinosaur physiology; development; physiology; adaptation; imaging; and primate systematics. A variety of approaches and techniques are used to examine and characterize the diversity of paranasal sinus pneumatization in a wide spectrum of vertebrates. These range from dissection to histology, from plain X-rays to computer tomography, from comparative anatomy to natural experimental settings, from mathematical computation to computer model simulation, and 2D to 3D reconstructions. The articles in this issue are a combination of literature review and new, hypothesis-driven anatomical research that highlights the complexities of paranasal sinus growth and development; ontogenetic and disease processes; physiology; paleontology; primate systematics; and human evolution. The issue incorporates a wide variety of vertebrates, encompassing a period of over 65 million years, in an effort to offer insight into the diversity of the paranasal sinus complexes through time and space, and thereby providing a greater understanding and appreciation of these special spaces within the cranium. Anat Rec, 291:1350–1361, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.