Document Detail

Sexual dimorphism in the Atapuerca-SH hominids: the evidence from the mandibles.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11908956     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The pattern of sexual dimorphism in 15 mandibles from the Atapuerca-SH Middle Pleistocene site, attributed to Homo heidelbergensis, is explored. Two modern human samples of known sex are used as a baseline for establishing sexing criteria. The mandible was divided for analysis into seven study regions and differential expression of sexual dimorphism in these regions is analysed. A total of 40 continuous and 32 discrete variables were scored on the mandibles. The means method given in Regh & Leigh (Am. J. phys. Anthrop.110, 95-104, 1999) was followed for evaluating the potential of correct sex attribution for each variable. On average, the mandibles from the Atapuerca-SH site present a degree of sexual dimorphism about eight points higher than in H. sapiens samples. However, mandibular anatomy of the European Middle Pleistocene hominid records sexual dimorphism differentially. Different areas of the Atapuerca-SH mandibles exhibit quite distinct degrees of sexual dimorphism. For instance, variables of the alveolar arcade present very low or practically no sexual dimorphism. Variables related to overall size of the mandible and symphysis region present a medium degree of sex differences. Finally, ramus height, and gonion and coronoid process present a high degree of sexual dimorphism (indexes of sexual dimorphism are all above 130%). Whether this marked sexual dimorphism in specific anatomical systems affects sexual differences in body size is not completely clear and further studies are needed. Sexual differences detected in the mandible of modern humans have at least two components: differences related to musculo-skeletal development and differences related to a different growth trajectory in males and females (relative development of some of the basal border features). The Atapuerca-SH mandibles display little variation in the basal border, however. The limited variation of this mandibular region may indicate that the pattern of sexual variation in H. heidelbergensis is different enough to that of H. sapiens to caution against simple extrapolation of criteria from one pattern to the other.
Antonio Rosas; Markus Bastir; Cayetana Martínez-Maza; Jose María Bermúdez de Castro
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of human evolution     Volume:  42     ISSN:  0047-2484     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Hum. Evol.     Publication Date:  2002 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-03-22     Completed Date:  2002-05-22     Revised Date:  2009-11-03    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0337330     Medline TA:  J Hum Evol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  451-74     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Department of Paleobiology, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid, Spain. arosas@mncn.csic.cs
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MeSH Terms
Facial Muscles / anatomy & histology
Hominidae / anatomy & histology*
Mandible / anatomy & histology*
Paleontology / methods
Reference Values
Sex Characteristics*

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