Compound Temporal Nuchal Crest in Males

Following Strait and Grine (2001), four character states are recognized. The development of this crest is related to overall cranial size and the requirements of the neck and masticatory musculature. As such, it is likely to be of interest from a phylogenetic perspective; that is, the phylogenetic niche conservatism. The developments of these muscles are of significance in relation to head support, and differential development may be associated with positional behavior. As such, they are of likely phylogenetic importance.

Dryopithecus, Kenyanthropus, Australopithecus, K. rudolfensis, H. ergaster, and H. sapiens are all defined by a complete absence of a crest (= 0). Homo habilis has a partial crest confined to the lateral third of the bi-asterionic breadth (= 1). Paranthropus boisei is defined by a variable condition in overall development (= 2). Pongo, Gorilla, Pan, Sahelanthropus, Praeanthropus, and P walkeri have an extensively developed crest from inion to the lateral margin of the supramastoid crest (= 3) (Aiello & Dean, 1990; Kordos & Begun, 1997; Strait et al., 1997; Strait & Grine, 2001; Brunet et al., 2002; also see D.E. Lieberman et al., 1996).

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