Allometry and heterochrony in the African apes

Brian T. Shea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

196 Scopus citations


In this work allometry and heterochrony are integrated in an analysis of ontogenic and interspecific morphological patterns in the African apes. The relationship between the interspecific differences in adult morphology and the differences in underlying patterns of growth allometries, body weight growth rates, and developmental chronologies is investigated. Results indicate that rate hypermorphosis, or the extension of ancestral allometries into new size/shape ranges with no increase in the duration of ontogeny, underlies many of the interspecific differences in form among the African apes. In addition, the need for further clarification of the processes of heterochrony is stressed by distinguishing between rate and timing differences. These distinctions and processes are illustrated and discussed using the morphological data on the African apes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-289
Number of pages15
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • African apes
  • Allometry
  • Heterochrony
  • Rate hypermorphosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Anatomy


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