The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

Introducing new variables into morphometric body mass reconstruction


1Department of Anthropology, Center for the Study of Human Origins, New York University, 2New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology, 3Office of Chief Medical Examiner, NYC

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The reconstruction of body mass has important ecological and physiological implications in paleontological and archaeological studies. Morphometric equations regressing bi-iliac breadth and stature on body mass have been shown to have a stronger relationship with body mass than mechanical reconstructions based on weight-bearing skeletal elements. This research expands the morphometric approach of body mass estimation by investigating the anthropometric variables of transverse chest width and bi-acromial breadth as well as the aforementioned variables using individuals from the Hamann-Todd Collection (n=151). Bi-iliac breadth and transverse chest width correlated most strongly to body mass in both pooled and sex-separated equations while stature correlated most weakly to body mass. The addition of transverse chest width and bi-acromial breadth to bi-iliac breadth and stature improved the estimation of body mass in both males and females. Forward stepwise regressions (f-to-enter ≤ .05) also revealed that bi-iliac breadth and transverse chest breadth alone were selected to estimate body mass and performed better than the bi-iliac breadth and stature equations in both males and females. Additionally, these trunk and shoulder anthropometrics were chosen because, like bi-iliac breadth, similar measurements may be derived from the skeleton. We will investigate if clavicle length may be used to represent bi-acromial breadth and if transverse chest width may be represented by rib breadth, using a 2D morphometric approach to determine the maximum lateral value of the rib.

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