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Common Patterns of Facial Ontogeny in the Hominid Lineage
 

Summary: ARTICLE
Common Patterns of Facial Ontogeny in the
Hominid Lineage
REBECCA ROGERS ACKERMANN,* AND GAIL E. KROVITZ
Recent evaluation of Neanderthal and modern human ontogeny suggests that taxon-specific features arose very early
in development in both lineages, with early, possibly prenatal, morphological divergence followed by parallel
postnatal developmental patterns. Here we use morphometric techniques to compare hominoid facial growth
patterns, and show that this developmental phenomenon is, in fact, not unique to comparisons between Neanderthals
and modern humans but extends to Australopithecus africanus and to the hominoid lineage more broadly. This
finding suggests that a common pattern of juvenile facial development may be more widespread and that the roots
of ontogenetically early developmental differentiation are deep--perhaps predating the ape/human split of 6 million
years ago. Anat Rec (New Anat) 269:142147, 2002. 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
KEY WORDS: human evolution; hominoid; Euclidean distance matrix analysis; EDMA; craniofacial morphology;
development; comparative anatomy; Australopithecus africanus; morphometric analysis
It is well accepted that small changes
in the rate or timing of developmental
events can provide a mechanism for
evolutionary change by generating
morphological differences between
species (Gould, 1977; Shea, 1983,

  

Source: Ackermann, Rebecca Rogers - Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine