Development, Growth and Evolution

Implications for the Study of the Hominid Skeleton

Edited by

  • Paul O'Higgins, University College, London, U.K.
  • Martin Cohn, University of Reading, U.K.

This book presents a synthesis of the modern approaches to the study of ontogeny and the interpretation of the fossil evidence for human origins. Recent years have seen significant developments in the understanding of the regulation of embryonic pattern formation and skeletal adaptation, and in techniques for the visualizations and analysis of ontogenetic transformations, offering the prospect of understanding the mechanisms underpinning phylogenetic transformation in the skeleton. Advances in developmental biology, molecular genetics, biomechanics, microscopy, imaging and morphometrics are brought to bear on the subject.
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Researchers and advanced students in physical anthropology, evolutionary biology, and palaeontology.


Book information

  • Published: March 2000
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-524965-2


s book is an important step in the process of improving the efficacy of methods for the reconstruction of higher primate evolution. The authors are to be congratulated on their efforts."
—-Bernard Wood in JOURNAL OF ANATOMY (2001)

"...for those in the earlier stages of their paleoanthropological careers mastery of all the material covered here is going to be essential."
—-David Pilbean, Harvard University, in JOURNAL OF HUMAN EVOLUTION (2001)

Table of Contents

Molecular Control of Vertebrate Limb Development, Evolution, and Congenital Malformations:M.J. Cohn and P.E. Bright, Introduction.Specification and Initiation of Limbs.Limb Identity: Forelimbs or Hindlimbs?Outgrowth and Patterning: Generating Bones from Buds.Hox Genes in Limb Development.Evolution of Tetrapod Limbs.Congenital Limb Anomalies: Linking Malformations to Molecules.Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References.Biomechanical Influences on Skeletal Growth and Development:T. Skerry, Introduction.Functions of the Skeleton.Historical Perspectives of Mechanical Influences on Bone.Quantitative Studies on Effects of Loading on Bone.Responses of Bone Cells to Loading.Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References.The Evolution of Mammalian Morphology: A Developmental Perspective:C.O. Lovejoy, M.J. Cohn and T.D. White, Introduction.Early Patterning of the Limb Skeleton.Functional Integration Within the Limb Bud.Some Implications for the Interpretation of Mammalian Skeletal Evolution.Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References.Development and Patterning of the Cranium:P. Thorogood and T. Schilling.Ontogeny, Homology, and Phylogeny in the Problem of the Browridge:D.E. Lieberman.The Problem: How Do We Retrieve Reliable Information on Phylogeny from the Skull?Homology.Integrating Homology and Development.How Do We Study Processes of Hominid Cranial Development? Example: The Browridge.Conclusion. Acknowledgments. Appendix. References.Imaging Skeletal Growth and Evolution:F. Spoor, N. Jeffery and F. Zonneveld, Overview.Introduction.Plain Film Radiography.Computed Tomography.Micro-CT/X-ray Microtomograpy.Magnetic Resonance.High Resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging.Three Dimensional Imaging.Quantitative Analysis.Working With Images.Future Prospects.Acknowledgments. References.Appendix: Glossary of Imaging Terms.Quantitative Approaches to the Study of Craniofacial Growth and Evolution: Advances in Morphometric Techniques:P. O'Higgins, Growth and Evolution of the Face: Motivation. Analysing and Modelling Morphological Transformations in Growth and Evolution.Quantifying Morphology.Variations in Size and Shape.Geometric Analyses of Cranial Variation in Primates.Growth and Evolution of the Face: Prospect.Acknowledgments. Software. References.Interpreting the Hominid Dentition: Ontogenetic and Phylogenetic Aspects:G.T. Schwartz and C. Dean, Introduction.Tooth Formation and the Development of Crown Morphology.Incremental Markings in Enamel and Dentine.Evidence for the Periodicity of Circadian and Longer Period Incremental Markings.Using Incremental Markings to Study Growth in Fossil Teeth.Phylogenetic Scenarios for the Evolution of Thick Enamel.Cuspal Enamel Growth.Dental Development Schedules in Hominoids.Life History and Primate Evolution.Summary. Acknowledgments. References. Glossary.Morphometrics of the Primate Skeleton and the Functional and Developmental Underpinnings of Species Diversity:C.E. Oxnard, Introduction.Morphometric Studies of Individual Functional Units.Morphometric Studies of Integrated Combinations of Functional Units.Masticatory System: Function, Development and Evolution.Locomotor System: Function, Development and Evolution.Studies of the Niche:"Function" and "Evolution."Studies of the Brain: "Neurometrics." Summary of Results from Clusters of Variables.Theoretical Information Content of Data Sets.Conclusions. Acknowledgments. References.