Mar 19, 2016

Primary bone microanatomy records developmental aspects of life history in catarrhine primates

Journal of Human Evolution
Shannon C McFarlinTimothy G Bromage


A central challenge in human origins research is to understand how evolution has shaped modern human life history. As fossilized remains of our ancestors provide the only direct evidence for life history evolution, efforts to reconstruct life history in paleontological contexts have focused on hard tissues, particularly on dental development. However, among investigators of other vertebrate groups, there is a long tradition of examining primary bone microstructure to decipher growth rates and maturational timing, based on an empirical relationship between the microanatomy of primary bone and the rate at which it is deposited. We examined ontogenetic variation in primary bone microstructure at the midshaft femur of Chlorocebus aethiops, Hylobates lar, and Pan troglodytes to test whether tissue type proportions vary in accordance with predictions based on body mass growth patterns described previously. In all taxa, younger age classes were characterized by significantly higher percent areas of fibro-lamellar and/or parallel-fibered tissues, while older age classes showed significantly higher proportions of lamellar bone. In prior experimental studies, fibro-lamellar and parallel-fibered tissue types have been associated with fast...Continue Reading

  • References71
  • Citations6


  • References71
  • Citations6


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Cell Growth Pattern
MRNA Maturation
Cortex Bone Disorders
Adrenal Cortex Diseases

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