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Towards the restoration of ancient hominid craniofacial anatomy: Chimpanzee morphology reveals covariation between craniometrics and facial soft tissue thickness


Campbell, Ryan M; Vinas, Gabriel; Henneberg, Maciej (2021). Towards the restoration of ancient hominid craniofacial anatomy: Chimpanzee morphology reveals covariation between craniometrics and facial soft tissue thickness. PLoS ONE, 16(6):e0245760.

Abstract

In modern humans, facial soft tissue thicknesses have been shown to covary with craniometric dimensions. However, to date it has not been confirmed whether these relationships are shared with non-human apes. In this study, we analyze these relationships in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) with the aim of producing regression models for approximating facial soft tissue thicknesses in Plio-Pleistocene hominids. Using CT scans of 19 subjects, 637 soft tissue, and 349 craniometric measurements, statistically significant multiple regression models were established for 26 points on the face and head. Examination of regression model validity resulted in minimal differences between observed and predicted soft tissue thickness values. Assessment of interspecies compatibility using a bonobo (Pan paniscus) and modern human subject resulted in minimal differences for the bonobo but large differences for the modern human. These results clearly show that (1) soft tissue thicknesses covary with craniometric dimensions in P. troglodytes, (2) confirms that such covariation is uniformly present in both extant Homo and Pan species, and (3) suggests that chimp-derived regression models have interspecies compatibility with hominids who have similar craniometric dimensions to P. troglodytes. As the craniometric dimensions of early hominids, such as South African australopithecines, are more similar to P. troglodytes than those of H. sapiens, chimpanzee-derived regression models may be used for approximating their craniofacial anatomy. It is hoped that the results of the present study and the reference dataset for facial soft tissue thicknesses of chimpanzees it provides will encourage further research into this topic.

Abstract

In modern humans, facial soft tissue thicknesses have been shown to covary with craniometric dimensions. However, to date it has not been confirmed whether these relationships are shared with non-human apes. In this study, we analyze these relationships in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) with the aim of producing regression models for approximating facial soft tissue thicknesses in Plio-Pleistocene hominids. Using CT scans of 19 subjects, 637 soft tissue, and 349 craniometric measurements, statistically significant multiple regression models were established for 26 points on the face and head. Examination of regression model validity resulted in minimal differences between observed and predicted soft tissue thickness values. Assessment of interspecies compatibility using a bonobo (Pan paniscus) and modern human subject resulted in minimal differences for the bonobo but large differences for the modern human. These results clearly show that (1) soft tissue thicknesses covary with craniometric dimensions in P. troglodytes, (2) confirms that such covariation is uniformly present in both extant Homo and Pan species, and (3) suggests that chimp-derived regression models have interspecies compatibility with hominids who have similar craniometric dimensions to P. troglodytes. As the craniometric dimensions of early hominids, such as South African australopithecines, are more similar to P. troglodytes than those of H. sapiens, chimpanzee-derived regression models may be used for approximating their craniofacial anatomy. It is hoped that the results of the present study and the reference dataset for facial soft tissue thicknesses of chimpanzees it provides will encourage further research into this topic.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Multidisciplinary
Uncontrolled Keywords:General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Medicine
Language:English
Date:4 June 2021
Deposited On:11 Jul 2021 11:32
Last Modified:01 Aug 2021 21:26
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0245760
PubMed ID:34086683

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