Article Data

  • Views 734
  • Dowloads 157

Original Research

Open Access

Line of Sight in Hominoids

  • Michala K Stock1,*,
  • David G Reynolds2
  • Ari J Masters3
  • Timothy G Bromage4
  • Donald H Enlow5

1Department of Anthropology University of Florida, Gainesville

2Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics New York University College of Dentistry, USA

3The NOBRACE Centre Melbourne, VIC, Australia

4Department of Biomaterials and Biomimetics, USA

5 Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology New York University College of Dentistry, USA

6Case Western Reserve University Case School of Dental Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio. Deceased

DOI: 10.17796/1053-4628-40.3.251 Vol.40,Issue 3,May 2016 pp.251-258

Published: 01 May 2016

*Corresponding Author(s): Michala K Stock E-mail:


Objectives: It remains unclear how the realignments of the face and basicranium that characterize humans were acquired, both phylogenetically and ontogenetically. The developmentally constrained nature of the skull has been previously demonstrated in other primates using Donald H. Enlow's mammalian craniofacial architectural relationships. Here, we compare crania of our closest relatives to gain greater understanding of how and why the relationship of the face and cranial base is developmentally constrained in order to inform instances of abnormal growth and clinical intervention. Study design: A method for evaluating these fundamental architectural relationships using 3D landmark data was developed, thereby taking overall size and the geometric relationships among points into account. A sample of cone-beam computed tomography scans derived from humans and extant apes were analyzed (n=10 and n=6, respectively), as well as fossil hominid crania (n=7). Landmarks for 23 craniofacial architectural points were identified and recorded. Results and Conclusions: Principal components analyses reveal that despite the similarities in craniofacial architecture between humans, extant apes and fossil hominids, appreciable trends in variation between the extant species suggest that the repositioning of the foramen magnum was only one of a constellation of traits that realigned the basicranium and face during the transition to bipedalism.


craniofacial architecture, geometric morphometrics, hominoids, line of sight

Cite and Share

Michala K Stock,David G Reynolds,Ari J Masters,Timothy G Bromage,Donald H Enlow. Line of Sight in Hominoids. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry. 2016. 40(3);251-258.


1. Lieberman DE, Hallgrímsson B, Liu W, Parsons TE, and Jamniczky HA. Spatial packing, cranial base angulation, and craniofacial shape variation in the mammalian skull: testing a new model using mice. J Anat 212: 720- 735, 2008.

2. Enlow DH, and Hans MG. Essentials of Craniofacial Growth, 2nd ed. Ann Arbor: Needham Press, 2008.

3. Enlow DH, and Azuma M. Functional growth boundaries in the human and mammalian face. Birth defects: Original Articles Series 11: 217–230, 1975.

4. Bromage TG. The ontogeny of Pan troglodytes craniofacial architectural relationships and implications for early hominids. J Hum Evol 23, 1992.

5. McCarthy RC, and Lieberman DE. Posterior maxillary (PM) plane and anterior cranial architecture in primates. Anat Rec 264: 247–260, 2001.

6. Ravosa MJ. Ontogenetic perspective on the mechanical and nonmechan-ical models of primate circumorbital morphology. Am J Phys Anthropol 85: 95-112, 1991.

7. Ravosa MJ. Interspecfic perspective on the mechanical and nonmechan-ical models of primate circumorbital morphology. Am J Phys Anthropol 86: 369-396, 1991.

8. Ravosa MJ, and Shea BT. Pattern in craniofacial biology: evidence from Old World monkeys (Cercopithecidae). Int J Primatol 15: 801-822, 1994.

9. Schultz AH. The position of the occipital condyles and of the face relative to the skull base in primates. Am J Phys Anthropol 13: 97-120, 1955.

10. Solow B, and Tallgren A. Head posture and craniofacial morphology. Am J Phys Anthropol 44: 417-435, 1976.

11. Antón SC. Intentional cranial vault deformation and induced changes of the cranial base and face. Am J Phys Anthropol 79: 253–267, 1989.

12. Ross CF, and Ravosa MJ. Basicranial flexion, relative brain size, and facial kyphosis in nonhuman primates. Am J Phys Anthropol 91: 305–324, 1993.

13. Ross C, and Henneberg M. Basicranial flexion, relative brain size, and acial kyphosis in Homo sapiens and some fossil hominids. Am J Phys Anthropol 98: 575–593, 1995.

14. Lieberman DE, and McCarthy RC. The ontogeny of cranial base angula-tion in humans and chimpanzees and its implications for reconstructing pharyngeal dimensions. J Hum Evol 36: 487–517, 1999.

15. Lieberman DE, Pearson O, and Mowbray KM. Basicranial influence on overall cranial shape. J Hum Evol 38: 291–315, 2000.

16. Zollikofer CPE, and Ponce de León MS. Visualizing patterns of craniofa-cial shape variation in Homo sapiens. Proc Biol Sci 269: 801-807, 2002.

17. Bookstein FL, Gunz P, Mitteroecker P, Prossinger H, Schaefer K, and Seidler H. Cranial integration in Homo: singular warps analysis of the midsagittal plane in ontogeny and evolution. J Hum Evol 44: 167–187, 2003.

18. Dabelow A. Űber Korrelationen in der phylogenetischen Entwicklung der Schadelform. I. Die Beziehungen zwischen Rumpf und Schadelform. Gegenbaurs Morphol Jahrb 63: 1-49, 1929.

19. George SL. A longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis of the growth of the postnatal cranial base angle. Am J Phys Anthropol 49: 171–178, 1978.

20. Strait DS, and Ross CF. Kinematic data on primate head and neck posture: implications for the evolution of basicranial flexion and an evaluation of registration planes used in paleoanthropology. Am J Phys Anthropol 108: 205- 222, 1999.

21. Lieberman DE, Ross CF, and Ravosa MJ. The primate cranial base: Ontogeny, function, and integration. Yearb Phys Anthropol 61: 117–169, 2000.

22. McCarthy RC. Anthropoid cranial base architecture and scaling relation-ships. J Hum Evol 40: 41-66, 2001.

23. Strait DS. Integration, phylogeny, and the hominid cranial base. Am J Phys Anthropol 14: 273-297, 2001.

24. Bastir M, Rosas A, Stringer C, Cuétara JM, Kruszynski R, Weber GW, Ross CF, Ravosa MJ. Effects of brain and facial size on basicranial form in human and primate evolution. J Hum Evol 58: 424–431, 2010.

25. Zollikofer CPE, Ponce de León MS, Lieberman DE, Guy F, Pilbeam D, Likius A, Mackaye HT, Vignaud P and Brunet M. Virtual reconstruction of Sahelanthropus tchadensis. Nature 434: 755-759, 2005.

26. Russo GA, and Kirk EC. Foramen magnum position in bipedal mammals. J Hum Evol 65(5): 656-670, 2013.

27. Gould SJ. 1977. Ontogeny and Phylogeny. Harvard University Press: Cambridge.

28. Şenyürek MS. Cranial equilibrium index. Am J Phys Anthropol 24: 23- 41, 1938.

29. Schultz AH. Conditions for balancing the head in primates. Am J Phys Anthropol 29: 483-497, 1942.

30. Tobias PV. Hominid Evolution in Africa. Can Rev Sociol Anthropol. 3: 163- 190, 1983.

31. Ahern J. Foramen magnum position variation in Pan troglodytes, Plio-Pleistocene hominids, and recent Homo sapiens: implications for recognizing the earliest hominids. Am J Phys Anthropol 127: 267-276, 2005.

32. Ross C. Allometric and functional influences on primate orbit orientation and the origins of the Anthropoidea. J Hum Evol 29: 201-227, 1995.

33. Graf W, DeWaele C, and Vidal PP. Functional anatomy of the head-neck movement system of quadrupedal and bipedal mammals. J Anat 186: 55- 74, 1995.

34. Dryden IL, and Mardia KV. Statistical Shape Analysis. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998.

35. Bromage TG. Donald H. Enlow: The integrative single double life of a hard tissue naturalist. Am J Phys Anthropol 155, 2014.

36. Adams DC, Rohlf FJ, Slice DE. A field comes of age: Geometric morpho-metrics in the 21st century. Hystrix 1-8, 2013.

37. Analyze 11.0. Biomedical Imaging Resource (BIR) at Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education & AnalyzeDirect, Inc., 2012.

38. Klingenberg CP. MorphoJ: An integrated software package for geometric morphometrics. Mol Ecol Resour 11(2): 353-357, 2011.

39. Bookstein FL. Foundations of morphometrics. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 13: 451–470, 1982.

40. Mitteroecker P, Gunz P, Bernhard M, Schaefer K, and Bookstein FL. Comparison of cranial ontogenetic trajectories among great apes and humans. J Hum Evol 46: 679–698, 2004.

Abstracted / indexed in

Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch) Created as SCI in 1964, Science Citation Index Expanded now indexes over 9,500 of the world’s most impactful journals across 178 scientific disciplines. More than 53 million records and 1.18 billion cited references date back from 1900 to present.

Biological Abstracts Easily discover critical journal coverage of the life sciences with Biological Abstracts, produced by the Web of Science Group, with topics ranging from botany to microbiology to pharmacology. Including BIOSIS indexing and MeSH terms, specialized indexing in Biological Abstracts helps you to discover more accurate, context-sensitive results.

Google Scholar Google Scholar is a freely accessible web search engine that indexes the full text or metadata of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and disciplines.

JournalSeek Genamics JournalSeek is the largest completely categorized database of freely available journal information available on the internet. The database presently contains 39226 titles. Journal information includes the description (aims and scope), journal abbreviation, journal homepage link, subject category and ISSN.

Current Contents - Clinical Medicine Current Contents - Clinical Medicine provides easy access to complete tables of contents, abstracts, bibliographic information and all other significant items in recently published issues from over 1,000 leading journals in clinical medicine.

BIOSIS Previews BIOSIS Previews is an English-language, bibliographic database service, with abstracts and citation indexing. It is part of Clarivate Analytics Web of Science suite. BIOSIS Previews indexes data from 1926 to the present.

Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition aims to evaluate a journal’s value from multiple perspectives including the journal impact factor, descriptive data about a journal’s open access content as well as contributing authors, and provide readers a transparent and publisher-neutral data & statistics information about the journal.

Scopus: CiteScore 2.0 (2022) Scopus is Elsevier's abstract and citation database launched in 2004. Scopus covers nearly 36,377 titles (22,794 active titles and 13,583 Inactive titles) from approximately 11,678 publishers, of which 34,346 are peer-reviewed journals in top-level subject fields: life sciences, social sciences, physical sciences and health sciences.

Submission Turnaround Time