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Journal Article

Heterochrony and geometric morphometrics: a comparison of cranial growth in Pan paniscus versus Pan troglodytes

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Mitteroecker, P., Gunz, P., & Bookstein, F. L. (2005). Heterochrony and geometric morphometrics: a comparison of cranial growth in Pan paniscus versus Pan troglodytes. Evolution & Development, 7(3), 244-258. doi:10.1111/j.1525-142X.2005.05027.x.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-8E3F-E
Summary Heterochrony, the classic framework in which to study ontogeny and phylogeny, in essence relies on a univariate concept of shape. Though principal component (PC) plots of multivariate shape data seem to resemble classical bivariate allometric plots, the language of heterochrony cannot be translated directly into general multivariate methodology. We simulate idealized multivariate ontogenetic trajectories and explore their appearance in PC plots of shape space and size–shape space. Only if the trajectories of two related species lie along exactly the same path in shape space can the classic terminology of heterochrony apply and pure dissociation of size change against shape change be detected. Regional heterochrony—the variation of apparent heterochrony by region—implies a dissociation of local growth fields and cannot be identified in an overall PC analysis. We exemplify a geometric morphometric approach to these issues using adult and subadult crania of 48 Pan paniscus and 47 Pan troglodytes specimens. On each specimen, we digitized 47 landmarks and 144 semilandmarks on facial curves and the external neurocranial surface. We reject the hypothesis of global heterochrony in the cranium of Pan as well as regional heterochrony for the lower face, the upper face, and the neurocranium.