A geometric morphometric assessment of shape variation in adult pelvic morphology.

American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Samantha L Cox


In humans, the pelvis is the most sexually dimorphic skeletal element and is often utilized in aging and sexing remains. The pelvis has become greatly relied upon in anthropological research (e.g., forensics, demographics, obstetrics, evolutionary history); however, pelvis morphology is highly variable, and very little is known about the nature, sources, patterning, and interpretation of this variation. This study aims to quantify pelvis shape variation, document sexual shape variation, and estimate the plasticity of morphology. This will ultimately give greater ability to interpret modern, archaeological, and evolutionary patterns to gain deeper insight into processes which shape human anatomy. Using a sample of 129 Medieval Danish skeletons, shape variation is documented in the greater sciatic notch (GSN), iliac crest (IC), arcuate line (AL), and sub-pubic angle (SPA) using 3D geometric morphometrics. The landmarking method applied here has the advantage of being applicable to fragmentary remains, rather than requiring whole bones. This allows it to be easily applied to archaeological samples and for the interpretation of separate bone features. Differences in shape were statistically analyzed by principle component analysis,...Continue Reading


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