Document Detail

Morphometric testing of structural hypotheses of the supraorbital region in modern humans.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11372465     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Our understanding of the functional morphology of the primate supraorbital region is based largely on previous morphometric and in vivo mechanical tests of hypotheses in non-human anthropoids. Prior tests of two structural hypotheses explaining morphological variation in the supraorbital region, the craniofacial size hypothesis and the spatial hypothesis, did not fully consider modern humans. We extend these previous findings to include modern humans by conducting morphometric tests of these two hypotheses in a sample of adult Melanesian crania. Morphometric correlates of structural predictions for the craniofacial size and spatial hypotheses were developed and compared to measurements of the supraorbital region via bivariate product-moment correlations. Measurements of the supraorbital region are significantly correlated with a craniofacial size estimate across individuals from this Melanesian sample. This result supports the prediction of the craniofacial size hypothesis that the magnitude of the supraorbital region is proportional to craniofacial size. The predicted link between the degree of neural-orbital disjunction and the magnitude of the supraorbital region, explicated in the spatial hypothesis, receives mixed support in the correlation analysis. These two results agree with previous research indicating that support for the craniofacial size and spatial hypotheses can be found across and within anthropoid primate species, including modern humans. Correlational support for both the craniofacial size and spatial hypotheses suggests multiple factors influence variation in the modern human supraorbital region. Thus, a single hypothesis cannot fully account for modern human variation in this region. The low bivariate correlation coefficients in this study further question whether existing hypotheses can adequately explain morphological variation in the supraorbital region in a primate population sample. Novel functional, structural, behavioral and developmental ideas must be explored if we are to better understand morphological variation in the modern human supraorbital region.
C J Vinyard; F H Smith
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Zeitschrift für Morphologie und Anthropologie     Volume:  83     ISSN:  0044-314X     ISO Abbreviation:  Z Morphol Anthropol     Publication Date:  2001  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-05-24     Completed Date:  2001-07-12     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0413640     Medline TA:  Z Morphol Anthropol     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  23-41     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Biological Anthropology and Anatomy, Duke University Medical Center, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Anthropology, Physical / methods*
Skull / anatomy & histology*

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