Title page for ETD etd-06142006-134336

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hanebrink, Julia Rose
URN etd-06142006-134336
Title Datum is Only Skin Deep: In Vivo Measurements of Facial Tissue Thickness in Chimpanzees
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mary Manhein Committee Co-Chair
Robert Tague Committee Co-Chair
Ginny Listi Committee Member
Miles Richardson Committee Member
  • facial tissue thickness
  • chimpanzees
Date of Defense 2006-05-19
Availability unrestricted
This study is an ultrasonic investigation of chimpanzee (Pan troglodyte) facial tissue depth variability as well as a comparison between chimpanzee tissue depth standards and modern human (Homo sapiens) tissue depth standards. This research intends to broaden the extent of knowledge available regarding nonhuman primate anatomy. In addition, this research hopes to provide valuable information regarding facial reconstructions of early hominins.

The subjects utilized for this study were 44 male and female chimpanzees between the ages of two to forty-five years. The chimpanzees were made available by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) in New Iberia, Louisiana. Ultrasonic measurements were taken on 15 points across the chimpanzee face. The bony landmarks included were the supraglabella, glabella, nasion, mid-philtrum, chin-lip fold, mental eminence, supraorbital, suborbital, supra M2, sub M2, lateral nostril, zygomatic, occlusal line, root of zygoma, and gonion. Age, weight, sex, and frontal and lateral photographs were also collected for each subject.

Results of Pearsonís correlation coefficient analysis tests denote that age is a significant variable to consider when assessing tissue depths for different bony landmarks on the face of the chimpanzee. Chimpanzee tissue depth measurements were also compared to human standards reported by other researchers. Descriptive statistical analyses conclude that meaningful differences, as well as similarities, exist between chimpanzee and human tissue depth standards.

Although race has been found to be a significant variable in regards to human facial tissue depth, chimpanzees did not exhibit a large amount of variation when compared to human black, white, and mixed race populations.

The results obtained in this preliminary investigation provide valuable information regarding comparative anatomy between human and nonhuman primates. Use of these findings could also make facial reproductions on early hominins more accurate by providing tissue depth standards for a species that may be more similar in appearance to our earliest known ancestors.

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