2015 Volume 123 Issue 2 Pages 107-119
We investigated aging-related changes in the skulls of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata). A total of 145 (70 males, 75 females) skulls from macaques aged 7.0–26.9 years (males) and 7.0–30.7 years (females) were measured for 22 craniometric items. Some skull dimensions increased from young adulthood (7.0 years) to the peak at 13.3–19.0 years in males and at 19.7–22.6 years in females. Some dimensions remained at their peak value right through into very old age whereas others continued increasing during this stage of life. Continued increase of cranial size in adulthood has been also observed in humans, but the magnitude of change was greater in macaques. Facial and mandibular dimensions showed larger and more significant increases than neurocranial dimensions in macaques, as in humans, including facial height, bizygomatic breadth, mandibular body height, and ramus breadth in both sexes. Intertemporal distance and biorbital breadths after 16.0 years of age decreased significantly in males, and cranial and posterior basicranial lengths increased only in males. We suggest that these craniometric changes are associated with the development of the insertion area onto which muscles attach (by accumulation of physical stress). The face and mandible are greatly influenced by tooth loss and/or dental disorders, both of which are evident in humans. In the present study large changes were also found in skulls that had lost several teeth.