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Normal and pathological covariation in the masticatory apparatus of anthropoid primates Project ID: 00000C401 Public
1786 Media · 869 Specimens · Managed by: Claire Terhune, mlm100


This research examines how the anatomical components of the masticatory system (teeth, jaws, and related joints) work together and how these components are affected by aging and pathological changes. Specifically, we examine how the different anatomical components are correlated with each other across the entire masticatory system, in the context of changes that may occur during the lifetime of an individual, such as normal and pathological dental wear, and normal and abnormal (e.g., arthritis) changes in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) shape.

We employ 3D models coupled with pathological data for a wide cross-section of 19 anthropoid primates, including humans. Though samples vary depending on specimen condition, ideally this dataset includes a 3D model of the cranium, mandible, and the teeth for each specimen (n>1000 individuals). Scan data provided are cleaned models (processed following standard protocols in Geomagic Studio); raw data (i.e., uncleaned original scans) will be provided upon request to Claire Terhune or Siobhan Cooke. Please be aware that some regions of the cranium (i.e., orbits, zygomatic arches, pterygoid fossa) may be more heavily reconstructed than others because of anatomical challenges related to scanning these areas.

Data from this project have been employed in the following publications:
Mitchell, D.R., Kirchhoff, C.A., Cooke, S.B., Terhune, C.E. 2021. Bolstering geometric morphometrics sample sizes with damages and pathologic specimens: Is near enough good enough? Journal of Anatomy 238(6), 1444-1455.

Romero AN, Mitchell DR, Cooke SB, Kirchhoff CA, Terhune CE. 2021. Craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry in gorillas, chimpanzees, and macaques. American Journal of Biological Anthropology. DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.24432

Please check back for updates on publications and additional specimen data as they are added.


Mitchell, D. Rex; Kirchhoff, Claire; Terhune, Claire; Cooke, Siobhan
Romero, Ashly



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