Functional Anatomy and Phyletic Implications of the Hominoid Trunk and Hindlimb

  • Carol V. Ward
Part of the Advances in Primatology book series (AIPR)


Traditional hominid phylogenies are based on craniodental and mandibular characteristics primarily because these elements comprise the bulk of the hominoid fossil record. Few postcranial elements are known for most fossil hominoids, complicating intertaxic comparisons. Another reason postcrania tend to be neglected in phylogenetic studies is the assumption that they are more responsive to selective and ontogenetic pressures than skulls and teeth, and thereby are more likely to reflect homoplasy and obscure phylogenetic conclusions. Explanations of homoplasy are generally invoked when post-cranial analyses do not support phyletic schemes constructed using cranio-dental characters, e.g., in the cases of Sivapithecus (Pilbeam et al., 1990) and Oreopithecus (Harrison, 1986; Sarmiento, 1987).


Talocrural Joint Miocene Hominoid Hominoid Evolution Fossil Hominoid Extant Hominoid 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol V. Ward
    • 1
  1. 1.Anthropology and Pathology and Anatomical SciencesUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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