Ectocranial suture fusion in primates: as related to cranial volume and dental eruption

Authors

  • James Cray Jr,

    Corresponding author
    • Departments of Oral Biology, Orthodontics, Surgery-Plastic Surgery and Graduate Studies, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, GA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gregory M. Cooper,

    1. Departments of Plastic Surgery and Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    2. Department of Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    3. Pediatric Craniofacial Biology Laboratory, Children's Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Mark P. Mooney,

    1. Departments of Plastic Surgery and Oral Biology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    2. Departments of Anthropology and Orthodontics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Michael I. Siegel

    1. Departments of Anthropology and Orthodontics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence

James Cray Jr, Department of Oral Biology, Georgia Health Sciences University, College of Dental Medicine, 1120 15th Street, AD 1411, Augusta, GA 30912, USA.

Tel.: 706 721 2582;

fax: 706-721-9415

e-mail: jcray@georgiahealth.edu

Abstract

Background

Timing of calvarial suture fusion is important in primate ontogeny. Ages at death are difficult to assess especially for museum collections.

Methods

1550 skulls of Hominoid, Hylobatidae, Macaca and Papio were observed for fusion. Calvarial expansion (early) and dental eruption (late) were utilized as indicators of ontogeny. Homogeneity of slopes and ANOVA were used to determine differences in timing of fusion.

Results

For calvarial growth the great apes all showed small levels of calvarial suture remodeling prior to full calvarial expansion. For dental eruption, Homo and Macaca share a common pattern of fusion in late adulthood. The other species show early remodeling. Papio was observed to have distinct patterns for suture fusion progression.

Conclusions

Thus, suture fusion progression although influenced by evolutionary changes in the robusticity of the craniofacial skeleton can be modeled by the phylogeny among this group. Overall, Homo appears to have a distinct pattern of delayed suture fusion progression.

Ancillary