, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 141–159 | Cite as

Dental and cranial variation in living Indriidae

  • Philip D. Gingerich
  • Alan S. Ryan


Four species of Indriidae are extant in Madagascar. We have studied large samples of each of these to characterize dental and cranial variation, and to estimate the degree of sexual dimorphism in the dentition and cranium. Two dental fields are apparent, characterized by reduced variability: (1) a canine field centered on the upper canine and occluding caniniform lower premolar, and (2) a cheek tooth field centered on the second molars. No consistent pattern of sexual dimorphism was found in dental or cranial dimensions, and we conclude that none of the four species is sexually dimorphic. This lack of dental and cranial dimorphism is unusual in primates, and probably reflects the relatively limited aggressive behavior and the lack of male dominance in Indriidae.


Aggressive Behavior Sexual Dimorphism Animal Ecology Consistent Pattern Male Dominance 
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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip D. Gingerich
    • 1
  • Alan S. Ryan
    • 2
  1. 1.Museum of PaleontologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of AnthrologyUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborU.S.A.

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