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Ectocranial suture fusion in primates: pattern and phylogeny

Authors

  • James Cray Jr.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Oral Biology, Orthodontics, Cellular Biology and Anatomy, Orthopaedic Surgery, and Surgery-Plastic Surgery, Georgia Regents University, Augusta, Georgia
    • Correspondence to: James Cray Jr.; Department of Oral Biology, College of Dental Medicine, Georgia Regents University, 1120 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30912. E-mail: jcray@gru.edu

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  • Gregory M. Cooper,

    1. Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh and Pediatric Craniofacial Biology Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    3. Department of Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Mark P. Mooney,

    1. Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh and Pediatric Craniofacial Biology Laboratory, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    2. Department of Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    3. Department of Anthropology and Orthodontics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  • Michael I. Siegel

    1. Department of Anthropology and Orthodontics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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ABSTRACT

Patterns of ectocranial suture fusion among Primates are subject to species-specific variation. In this study, we used Guttman Scaling to compare modal progression of ectocranial suture fusion among Hominidae (Homo, Pan, Gorilla, and Pongo), Hylobates, and Cercopithecidae (Macaca and Papio) groups. Our hypothesis is that suture fusion patterns should reflect their evolutionary relationship. For the lateral-anterior suture sites there appear to be three major patterns of fusion, one shared by Homo-Pan-Gorilla, anterior to posterior; one shared by Pongo and Hylobates, superior to inferior; and one shared by Cercopithecidae, posterior to anterior. For the vault suture pattern, the Hominidae groups reflect the known phylogeny. The data for Hylobates and Cercopithecidae groups is less clear. The vault suture site termination pattern of Papio is similar to that reported for Gorilla and Pongo. Thus, it may be that some suture sites are under larger genetic influence for patterns of fusion, while others are influenced by environmental/biomechanic influences. J. Morphol. 275:342–347, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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