Heterochrony in Primates

  • Brian T. Shea
Part of the Topics in Geobiology book series (TGBI, volume 7)


Until recently the study of heterochrony in primate evolution has focused primarily on arguments concerning human neoteny. Swiss zoologist Julius Kollman (1905), who introduced the term neoteny in the late 1800s, suggested that early humans could be traced to pygmy groups that had developed from anthropoid apes via juvenilization and neoteny. De Beer (1930), building on Bolk’s (1926, 1929) important work, made human evolution one of the central examples in his classic work Embryology and Evolution, which established the study of heterochrony within the modern synthesis. Continued emphasis is evidenced in the work of Abbie (1952, 1958, 1964), Montagu (1962, 1981), and Gould (1977).


Sexual Dimorphism Pygmy Chimpanzee Relative Brain Size Common Chimpanzee Ontogenetic Allometry 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian T. Shea
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Anthropology and Cell Biology and AnatomyNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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