Abstract # 235:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 02:45 PM-03:00 PM: Session 33 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


M. J. Reid1,2, M. A. Schillaci1 and D. R. Begun2
1University of Toronto Scarborough, Department of Social Sciences, Toronto, ON M1C 1A4, Canada, 2Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto
     A large number of Pleistocene fossil orangutan specimens are known, consisting almost exclusively of isolated teeth. In 2001, Bacon and Long published the most complete fossil orangutan (Pongo sp.) ever found and compared it to both extant and fossil orangutans using univariate statistics. We further examine the dentition of the specimen and compare it to its extant and fossil relatives using multivariate statistics. Twelve mesio-distal and bucco-lingual dimensions of the post-canine dentition of 12 taxa were analyzed using a multivariate statistical approach. Initially, a principal components analysis (PCA) of a covariance matrix using the 12 dental dimensions was conducted. Using the components describing variation in shape (PC2-PC5) pair-wise phenetic distances among taxa were calculated. Dendrograms from UPGMA clustering were created to visually represent the phenetic relationships of these taxa. Our analysis of the principal components describing variation in shape (PC2-PC5) show two groupings. The first comprises Miocene fossil taxa while the other comprises extant and fossil members of the genus Pongo with the Miocene ape Sivapithecus parvada being an outlier to both groupings. Our analysis of the specimen from Vietnam indicates that dentally it is not more like fossil orangutans than extant orangutans, contra Bacon and Long (2001). We conclude that this fossil specimen is dentally more similar to members of the genus Pongo rather than to Miocene fossil taxa.