Miocene Hominoid Mandibles

Functional and Phylogenetic Perspectives
  • Barbara Brown
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


It is axiomatic in vertebrate paleontology that mandibles and mandibular fragments are among the most frequently recovered specimens from fossil localities. The dense, cohesive structure of the mandibular corpus and embedded tooth roots improve the likelihood that they will survive, in some form, the vagaries of deposition and postdepositional diagenetic processes. This is as true in the hominoid fossil record as it is in other areas of paleontology, a fact that mandates continuing analysis of the factors that mediate mandibular size and shape. As is true for all mammals, the morphology of primate mandibles is influenced in many ways, including patterns of food procurement, masticatory mechanics, cranial growth trajectories, and body size. Such influences can be analyzed to reconstruct functional/behavioral patterns, and, to a more limited extent, provide data useful in phylogenetic assessments.


Coronal Section Sumatran Orangutan Mandibular Corpus Lateral Eminence Miocene Hominoid 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyNortheastern Ohio University College of MedicineRootstownUSA

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