Cranial Evolution in the Apes

Brian T. Shea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The discussion of cranial evolution in the apes is organized around two key themes in this chapter. The first is that the phylogenetic relationships and even bracketed divergence times among the primary lineages of apes are now relatively robustly established, due largely to advances in biomolecular systematics. A second emphasis is that the understanding of hominoid evolution has long been hindered by the relative lack of attention given to the "lesser apes" (Hylobatidae), which has in turn tended to obfuscate the character novelties associated with the rise of the "great apes" (Hominidae). The chapter examines in greater detail some selected features of cranial anatomy, which have been suggested at one time or another as key defining novelties (synapomorphies) of the primary hominoid clades and lineages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to Paleoanthropology
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781444331165
StatePublished - Jan 14 2013


  • Apes
  • Cranial evolution
  • Hominoids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Cranial Evolution in the Apes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this