HOPE report


The investigation into evolutionary process of skull morphology

Report:Tsuyoshi Ito

Date:2009/10/01 - 2009/11/30

 Understanding the processes underlying morphological diversification is a central goal in evolutionary biology and requires the integration of information about phylogenetic divergence and eco-geographical factors. This study aims to reveal the evolutionary process of morphological diversification of skulls in primates, by using geometric morphometrics and multivariate analysis. I visited American Museum of Natural History (New York), National Museum of Natural History (Washington DC), Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago), and Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology (Cambridge) and collected metric and three-dimensional coordinates of anatomical landmarks from about 1700 skeletal specimens of Macaca, Papio, Mandrillus, Cercocebus, Lophocebus, and Hylobates. At American Museum of Natural History, I visited the laboratory of Dr Eric Delson Who is an authority in the field of Paleoanthropology and lead NYCEP Morphometrics Group. Dr Delson let me examine his fossil collections of Macaca, and showed me his current work concerning the estimation of ancestral morphology of primate skulls. I talked about my research plan with him and learned the newest knowledge of the practice of geometric morphometrics.

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