, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 1-4
Date: 26 Feb 2009

Morphological Integration at 50: Patterns and Processes of Integration in Biological Anthropology

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The articles published in this issue of Evolutionary Biology were originally presented in a symposium entitled “Patterns and Processes of Morphological Integration in Primate and Human Evolution”, held at the 77th annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Columbus, Ohio, in April 2008. The symposium marked the 50th anniversary of Everett Olson and Robert Miller’s seminal book “Morphological Integration”, and sought to capture the current state of affairs in studies of morphological integration, particularly in relation to primate and human evolutionary biology.

In its simplest form, morphological integration is the inter-dependence between sets of traits within an individual, reflecting a common influence from functional and/or developmental factors. The concept of integration is not a new one. In fact, the Principle of the Correlation of Parts, the idea that in order to be viable, organisms must be comprised of organs that are functionally coordinated wi ...