Cortical bone mapping: An application to hand and foot bones in hominoids

Zewdi J. TSEGAI, Nicholas B. STEPHENS, Graham M. TREECE, Matthew M. SKINNER, Tracy L. KIVELL & Andrew H. GEE

en Comptes Rendus Palevol 16 (5-6) - Pages 690-701

Published on 30 September 2017

This article is a part of the thematic issue Hominin biomechanics, virtual anatomy and inner structural morphology: From head to toe. A tribute to Laurent Puymerail

Bone form reflects both the genetic profile and behavioural history of an individual. As cortical bone is able to remodel in response to mechanical stimuli, interspecific differences in cortical bone thickness may relate to loading during locomotion or manual behaviours during object manipulation. Here, we test the application of a novel method of cortical bone mapping to the third metacarpal (Mc3) and talus of Pan, Pongo, and Homo. This method of analysis allows measurement of cortical thickness throughout the bone, and as such is applicable to elements with complex morphology. In addition, it allows for registration of each specimen to a canonical surface, and identifies regions where cortical thickness differs significantly between groups. Cortical bone mapping has potential for application to palaeoanthropological studies; however, due to the complexity of correctly registering homologous regions across varied morphology, further methodological development would be advantageous.


Cortex, Cortical thickness measurement, Behavioural reconstruction, Morphometric maps, Hominoid

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