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Anatomy Research International
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 484607, 16 pages
Research Article

Making Space for Permanent Molars in Growing Baboon (Papio anubis) and Great Ape (Pan paniscus and P. troglodytes) Mandibles: Possible Ontogenetic Strategies and Solutions

Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Health Sciences Building B328, 107 Wiggins Road, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7K 5E5

Received 15 December 2010; Accepted 2 March 2011

Academic Editor: Anne M. Burrows

Copyright © 2011 Julia C. Boughner. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While mandible proportions do not appear to constrain permanent molar initiation times, how adequate space is created in the corpus for these teeth in a timely way is not well understood. This question is important for explaining how primate tooth and jaw development and evolution are coordinated. Landmark and linear measurement data were used to characterize mandible shape, growth trajectory, and growth rate between two genera, Papio and Pan, with contrasting permanent molar initiation schedules and mandible proportions. 3D geometric morphometric and 2D bivariate analyses showed genus-level differences in mandible morphology from birth that were amplified by different postnatal growth trajectories. Different corpus proportions and regional variation in corpus growth rates helped create space in a timely way for the molars. Regional corpus growth rates may evolve alongside permanent molar morphology and developmental timing to modify space available in the corpus for these teeth.