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New insights on hip bone sexual dimorphism in adolescents and adults using deformation-based geometric morphometrics


Fornai, Cinzia; Webb, Nicole M; Urciuoli, Alessandro; Krenn, Viktoria A; Corron, Louise K; Haeusler, Martin (2021). New insights on hip bone sexual dimorphism in adolescents and adults using deformation-based geometric morphometrics. Journal of Anthropological Sciences, 99:117-134.

Abstract

Morphological variation of the human pelvis, and particularly the hip bone, mainly results from both female-specific selective pressure related to the give birth of large-headed newborns, and constraints in both sexes for efficient bipedal locomotion, abdominal stability, and adaptation to climate. Hip bone morphology has thus been extensively investigated using several approaches, although the nuances of inter-individual and sex-related variation are still underappreciated, and the effect of sex on ontogenetic patterns is debated. Here, we employ a landmark-free, deformation-based morphometric approach to explore variation in modern human hip bone shape and size from middle adolescence to adulthood. Virtual surface models of the hip bone were obtained from 147 modern human individuals (70 females and 77 males) including adolescents, and young and mature adults. The 3D meshes were registered by rotation, translation, and uniform scaling prior to analysis in Deformetrica. The orientation and amplitude of deviations of individual specimens relative to a global mean were assessed using Principal Component Analysis, while colour maps and vectors were employed for visualisation purposes. Deformation-based morphometrics is a time-efficient and objective method free of observer-dependent biases that allows accurate shape characterisation of general and more subtle morphological variation. Here, we captured nuanced hip bone morphology revealing ontogenetic trends and sex-based variation in arcuate line curvature, greater sciatic notch shape, pubic body and rami length, acetabular expansion, and height-to-width proportions of the ilium. The observed ontogenetic trends showed a higher degree of bone modelling of the lesser pelvis of adolescent females, while male variation was mainly confined to the greater pelvis.

Abstract

Morphological variation of the human pelvis, and particularly the hip bone, mainly results from both female-specific selective pressure related to the give birth of large-headed newborns, and constraints in both sexes for efficient bipedal locomotion, abdominal stability, and adaptation to climate. Hip bone morphology has thus been extensively investigated using several approaches, although the nuances of inter-individual and sex-related variation are still underappreciated, and the effect of sex on ontogenetic patterns is debated. Here, we employ a landmark-free, deformation-based morphometric approach to explore variation in modern human hip bone shape and size from middle adolescence to adulthood. Virtual surface models of the hip bone were obtained from 147 modern human individuals (70 females and 77 males) including adolescents, and young and mature adults. The 3D meshes were registered by rotation, translation, and uniform scaling prior to analysis in Deformetrica. The orientation and amplitude of deviations of individual specimens relative to a global mean were assessed using Principal Component Analysis, while colour maps and vectors were employed for visualisation purposes. Deformation-based morphometrics is a time-efficient and objective method free of observer-dependent biases that allows accurate shape characterisation of general and more subtle morphological variation. Here, we captured nuanced hip bone morphology revealing ontogenetic trends and sex-based variation in arcuate line curvature, greater sciatic notch shape, pubic body and rami length, acetabular expansion, and height-to-width proportions of the ilium. The observed ontogenetic trends showed a higher degree of bone modelling of the lesser pelvis of adolescent females, while male variation was mainly confined to the greater pelvis.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Evolutionary Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:27 December 2021
Deposited On:01 Feb 2022 16:26
Last Modified:18 Jun 2024 03:35
Publisher:Ist. di Antropologia
ISSN:1827-4765
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4436/JASS.99017
PubMed ID:34958307
  • Content: Published Version
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)