, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 443-455

Sex differences in the vertebral column of gombe chimpanzees

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Male and female chimpanzees from Gombe National Park, Tanzania (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) differ in live body weights but not in cranial capacity or fore-and hindlimb long bone lengths. Skeletal dimensions of the limbs and vertebral column indicate a mosaic of sex differences. Vertebral column measurements generally are greater in males. While linear measurements identify differences in the breadth and depth of the lower cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae, areal assessments show significant differences in weight-bearing surfaces throughout the thoracic and lumbar segments. These can be interpreted in terms of distribution of weight and body composition (i.e. amount of musculature).