The ontogeny of sexual dimorphism in maxillary sinus size in a nonhuman primate was studied longitudinally for a period of 8 years in 25 female and 25 male Macaca nemestrina via lateral cephalograms. The maxillary sinus was traced and its area digitized. The growth of female maxillary sinuses was described with a Gompertz model; the best fit to the male data was obtained by the logistic model. Growth curves and confidence intervals revealed that the sinuses grew in a similar fashion for 3–4 years in both sexes. After this, female sinuses achieved a plateau in their development while male sinuses continued to grow. Confidence intervals suggested that size dimorphism appeared at the age of 6.3 years. Lowess regression indicated growth spurts in both sexes. Females experienced an earlier and smaller spurt than males. Sexual dimorphism in maxillary sinus size seems to represent a combination of differences in velocity and length of growth. This study indicates that growth of the maxillary sinus follows closely the growth in body size. Nevertheless, due to the variation in sinus size in Macaca, it is questionable if body size is the main determinant of maxillary sinus size. It is suggested that Macaca, with its wide geographic range and different environments, is an especially appropriate genus to use to test hypotheses about the evolution of skull pneumatization in primates.

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