Abstract # 2170 Event # 109:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2007 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: Session 12 (North Main Hall E) Oral Presentation


A Multivariate Analysis of Dental Variation Among Extant and Fossil Hominoids from Asia

M. J. Reid1 and M. A. Schillaci1,2
1University of Toronto, Department of Anthropology, 100 St. George St., Toronto, ON M5S 3G3, Canada, 2Department of Social Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough
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     Orangutans (Pongo sp.) are well known in the fossil record with a number of subspecies currently recognized. With the recent elevation of the Bornean and Sumatran orangutan subspecies into distinct species it has become important to re-evaluate orangutan fossil materials. In this paper, we used principal components analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis to examine phenotypic relationships among extant and fossil hominoids from Asia. Our study relied on standard dental measurement data gathered from the available literature. Male and female (if sex differentiation was available) mean mesio-distal and bucco-lingual measurements for Pongo pymaeus, P. abelii, P. p. paleosumatrensis and P. p. weidenreichi were included in the analysis, as were data on an unnamed species from Vietnam. Closely-related taxa such as Lufengpithecus sp. and Ankarapithecus meteai were used as primitive outgroups. The distribution of principal component scores generated by our analysis indicated that there are clear differences in size and shape among closely-related taxa, as well as more generally between fossil and extant hominoids. Interestingly, the Vietnamese fossil Pongo sp. aligned closely with the Chinese hominoids from Yuanmou and Lufeng. We believe that the observed differences do not solely describe dietary differences, but also probably reflect phylogenetic relationships.