Morphometrics and hominoid phylogeny: Support for a chimpanzee-human clade and differentiation among great ape subspecies

Charles A. Lockwood, William Kimbel, John M. Lynch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

126 Scopus citations


Taxonomic and phylogenetic analyses of great apes and humans have identified two potential areas of conflict between molecular and morphological data: phylogenetic relationships among living species and differentiation of great ape subspecies. Here we address these problems by using morphometric data. Three-dimensional landmark data from the hominoid temporal bone effectively quantify the shape of a complex element of the skull. Phylogenetic analysis using distance-based methods corroborates the molecular consensus on African ape and human phylogeny, strongly supporting a Pan-Homo clade. Phenetic differentiation of great ape subspecies is pronounced, as suggested previously by mitochondrial DNA and some morphological studies. These results show that the hominoid temporal bone contains a strong phylogenetic signal and reveal the potential for geometric morphometric analysis to shed light on phylogenetic relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4356-4360
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Mar 30 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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