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Keywords:

  • paranasal sinus;
  • adaptation;
  • systematics;
  • phylogenetic history;
  • primates;
  • dinosaurs;
  • Neanderthals;
  • New World monkeys;
  • Old World monkeys;
  • evolution

Abstract

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.