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Human Body Mass Estimation: A Comparison of "Morphometric" and "Mechanical" Methods

Summary: Human Body Mass Estimation: A Comparison of
"Morphometric" and "Mechanical" Methods
Benjamin M. Auerbach* and Christopher B. Ruff
Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine,
Baltimore, Maryland 21205
KEY WORDS body weight prediction; femoral head; bi-iliac pelvic breadth; hominin;
stature estimation
ABSTRACT In the past, body mass was reconstructed
from hominin skeletal remains using both "mechanical"
methods which rely on the support of body mass by
weight-bearing skeletal elements, and "morphometric"
methods which reconstruct body mass through direct as-
sessment of body size and shape. A previous comparison of
two such techniques, using femoral head breadth (me-
chanical) and stature and bi-iliac breadth (morphometric),
indicated a good general correspondence between them
(Ruff et al. [1997] Nature 387:173176). However, the two
techniques were never systematically compared across a
large group of modern humans of diverse body form. This
study incorporates skeletal measures taken from 1,173


Source: Auerbach, Benjamin M. - Department of Anthropology, University of Tennessee


Collections: Biology and Medicine