Museum collections are critical resources for examination of comparative anatomy, developmental biology, and life history hypotheses. Skeletal collections provide insight into spatiotemporal, species, population, and individual variation associated with environmental, social, and epidemiological history. For endangered species such as great apes, these collections provide data that are nearly impossible to replicate today. In this second in a series of articles reviewing the great ape holdings of the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University, we describe the Gorilla gorilla skeletal collection, comprising 16 individuals: 13 males, 2 females, and 1 of indeterminate sex. Evidence of socioecology, interindividual violence, hunting, captive management, predation, senescence, and infectious disease are present within the skeletal material. The collection exhibits possible taxonomic diversity as well. Our evaluation of the Yale Peabody Museum collection provides a baseline for future research and testable hypotheses for alternate techniques, such as isotopic analyses of dental calculus and noninvasive genetic testing. Museum collections continue to provide new insights into taxonomic and individual variation and environmental context, and ultimately allow for comparisons between modern and historical environmental and behavioral variables.
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