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Ecogeographical and Phylogenetic Effects on Craniofacial Variation in Macaques



American Journal of Physical Anthropology 2014 DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22469

The widespread and complex ecogeographical diversity of macaques may have caused adaptive morphological convergence among four phylogenetic subgroups, making their phylogenetic relationships unclear. We used geometric morphometrics and multivariate analyses to test the null hypothesis that craniofacial morphology does not vary with cogeographical and phylogenetic factors. As predicted by Bergmann’s rule, size was larger for the fascicularis and sinica groups in colder environments. No clear size cline was observed in the silenus and sylvanus groups. An allometric pattern was observed across macaques, indicating that as size increases, rounded faces become more elongated. However, the elevation was differentiated within each of the former two groups and between the silenus and sylvanus groups, and the slope decreased in each of the two northern species of the fascicularis group. All allometric changes resulted in the similar situation of the face being more rounded in animals inhabiting colder zones and/or in animals having a larger body size than that predicted from the overarching allometric pattern. For non-allometric components, variations in prognathism were significantly correlated with dietary differences; variations in localized shape components in zygomatics and muzzles were significantly correlated with phylogenetic differences among the subgroups. The common allometric pattern was probably influenced directly or indirectly by climate-related factors, which are pressures favoring a more rounded face in colder environments and/or a more elongated face in warmer environments. Allometric dissociation could have occurred several times in Macaca even within a subgroup because of their wide latitudinal distributions, critically impairing the taxonomic utility of craniofacial elongation.


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