The effects of hybridization on growth allometry and craniofacial form in Sulawesi macaques

Michael A. Schillaci, Jeffery W. Froehlich, Jatna Supriatna, Lisa Jones-Engel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The present research investigates the effects of hybridization between Macaca maurus and M. tonkeana on adult male form and patterns of growth allometry. Comparisons of adult hybrid mean phenotypic values with the adult averages of the parental species indicate a condition of heterosis for cranial vault length and crown-rump length. Negative heterosis is indicated for body mass. Regression parameters describing growth allometry are generated for four craniofacial measurement variables and one body measurement using both least squares and reduced major axis regression. Comparisons of hybrid and parental regression slopes and intercepts using analysis of covariance and t-tests suggest that there is a hybrid pattern of growth allometry characterized by an increase in regression slope values coupled with lower intercept values compared to those of the parental species and the parental averages for most regression parameters. Multivariate analyses of the adult and ontogenetic morphometric data indicate significant differences across species taxa in form and shape during development and adulthood. Our finding of significant differences between hybrids and their parental taxa in growth allometry and craniofacial form and shape during development challenges the assumption often made regarding the reproductive and taxonomic significance of observed ontogenetic divergence between Neandertals and modern humans. We propose that anthropological primatology, with its goal of developing nonhuman primate models for investigating human evolution, can provide a biologically relevant means by which to empirically estimate the taxonomic significance of morphological and ontogenetic divergence observed in the hominid fossil record.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-369
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005


  • Anthropological primatology
  • Growth and development
  • Heterosis
  • Human evolution
  • Hybrids
  • Neandertals
  • Ontogeny
  • Species recognition


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