The scanning electron microscope (SEM), combining high resolution and large depth of focus, affords detailed observation of surface microstructure in a three-dimensional perspective. It also allows large specimen dimensions and avoids the processing and sectioning limitations of light and transmission electron microscopic procedures. For these reasons the SEM is ideally suited for analyses of bone, a rigid tissue whose surface topography and internal architecture accurately reflect the developmental, metabolic and mechanical influences exerted upon it. Furthermore, SEM photomicrographs are compatible with devices for quantification, mathematical manipulation and graphic reconstruction of the image. Features of a photo may be traced with a stylus on the electromagnetically activated surface of a data digitizer, which converts the outlined path to x and y axis coordinates. Interfaced with a programmed calculator these data undergo algebraic and geometrical computation and may be stored for statistical analyses. Alternatively, stereopairs of micrograph transparencies may be utilized in micro-stereophotogrammetric procedures in which x, y and z axis coordinates are generated for selected morphologic points. Our research concerns spatiotemporal interrelationships of primate craniofacial growth as evidenced by changes in the skeletal gross morphology and microanatomy of the orbital region, jaws and teeth during their growth and development. Applications of SEM and digitization techniques to these studies and an evaluation of the derived data will be presented.