Unfinished business: Mahalanobis and a clockwork orang

Colin P. Groves*, Celia Westwood, Brian T Shea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Skulls of orang-utan and chimpanzee were studied by multivariate analysis, keeping the sexes separate. Skulls of Pongo pygmaeus from south-western Borneo were found to be as distinct from skulls from the remainder of Borneo as were those from Sumatra. Although Pan paniscus separated well from other chimpanzees, the conventionally recognised subspecies of Pan troglodytes did not separate well; localised samples within the conventional subspecies proved in some cases to be at least as distinctive. This emphasises that "accepted" taxonomy must in no case be taken as given, but must be subject to continual testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-340
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Human Evolution
Issue number4-5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


  • chimpanzee
  • discriminant analysis
  • orang-utan
  • subspecies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Education
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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