Comparative morphometric study of the australopithecine vertebral series Stw-H8/H41.

  title={Comparative morphometric study of the australopithecine vertebral series Stw-H8/H41.},
  author={William J. Sanders},
  journal={Journal of human evolution},
  volume={34 3},
  • W. J. Sanders
  • Published 1 March 1998
  • Biology
  • Journal of human evolution
Lower spinal structure correlates well with positional behavior among mammals. Nonetheless, the functional morphology of the axial post-crania of australopithecines has received less attention than their appendicular skeletons. This paper presents a detailed description and comparative morphometric analysis of the australopithecine thoracolumbar vertebral series Stw-H8/H41, and examines spinal mechanics in early hominids. Stw-H8/H41 is an important specimen, as the australopithecine vertebral… 

A comparative morphometric study of the hominoid lumbar spine.

It is concluded that lumbar vertebral morphology shows interesting intra-specific patterns of scaling and of sexual dimorphism that appear to vary according to function between apes and between ape and humans.

Functional aspects of strepsirrhine lumbar vertebral bodies and spinous processes.

The results of the study broaden the understanding of postcranial adaptation in primates, while providing an extensive comparative database for interpreting vertebral morphology in fossil primates.

The Spine of Early Pleistocene Homo

The spine of H. erectus reveals key changes relative to earlier hominins, with an expanded thoracolumbar spinal canal offering increased neurovascular capacities, and a ventral pillar better equipped to mitigate compressive loads and provide energy return.

Morphological and functional differentiation in the lumbar spine of lorisids and galagids

  • L. Shapiro
  • Biology
    American journal of primatology
  • 2007
The striking contrast in positional behavior exhibited by lorisids (slow quadrupedalism/suspension) and galagids (leaping/quadrupedalism) is well reflected in their postcranial morphology,

Vertebral Morphology in Hominoids II: The Lumbar Spine

Comparative research on nonhominoid primates and other mammals support that hominoid lumbar features confer axial stability in a variety of positional behaviors, while studies of experimental biomechanics have revealed more rotational capabilities in thehominoid trunk than previously thought, and analyses of back musculature offer new information about fiber-type differences between hominoids and other primates.

Functional and developmental influences on intraspecific variation in catarrhine vertebrae.

In hominoids, vertebral body dimensions were the least variable, neural canal dimensions the most variable, with spinous and transverse processes generally intermediate, and among species, there was a general though not always significant pattern for Chlorocebus to exhibit the least variation, followed by Homo or Hylobates.

The angular distribution of vertebral trabeculae in modern humans, chimpanzees and the Kebara 2 Neanderthal.

Modern human spines were found to show a greater variation in the proportions of axial and dorsoventral trabeculae with spinal level than chimpanzees, with the greatest differences observed in the upper thoracic spine and thoracolumbar junction, suggesting an association with postural spinal curves.

Earliest axial fossils from the genus Australopithecus.




Evaluation of "unique" aspects of human vertebral bodies and pedicles with a consideration of Australopithecus africanus

The morphology of human thoracolumbar vertebral bodies and pedicles is considered in the context of a wide comparative primate sample and results indicate that certain features of human vertebrae previously thought to reflect bipedalism are characteristic of several nonhuman primates.

Effects of size and locomotor adaptations on the hominid pelvis: evaluation of australopithecine bipedality with a new multivariate method.

The pelvic morphology of A. africanus, as integrated with the articular pelvic-femoral link, appears to be biometrically equivalent to that of humans.

Morphometric analysis of lumbar vertebra UMP 67-28: Implications for spinal function and phylogeny of the Miocene Moroto hominoid

The overall morphology of UMP 67-28 indicates that lumbar vertebrae of the Moroto hominoid were mole derived toward the great ape condition than those of Proconsul heseloni and P. nyanzae, and shares features with other dorsostable-backed mammals, suggesting that the Morotos hominoids and Proconsula possessed very different locomotor capabilities.

Metatarsophalangeal joint function and positional behavior in Australopithecus afarensis.

A study using computer aided design (CAD) software that provides a quantitative assessment of the functional morphology of australopithecine metatarsophalangeal joints and results are consistent with other evidence indicating that A. afarensis was a capable climber.

The length of the vertebral column of primates: an allometric study.

Results from catarrhines are globally the closest to the expectations of elastic similarity, and no obvious direct relationship was found between the length of the vertebral column and the number of vertebrae.

The locomotor anatomy of Australopithecus afarensis.

It is demonstrated that A. afarensis possessed anatomic characteristics that indicate a significant adaptation for movement in the trees, and it is speculated that earlier representatives of the A.Afarensis lineage will present not a combination of arboreal and bipedal traits, but rather the anatomy of a generalized ape.

Lucy's limbs: skeletal allometry and locomotion in Australopithecus afarensis

The data indicate that A. afarensis had already attained forelimb proportions similar to those of modern humans but possessed hindlimbs that were relatively much shorter; hence the ‘intermediate’ humerofemoral index of AL 288-1 compared with Homo sapiens and great apes.

Another look at the australopithecine hip

Despite evidence for variation in the pattern of bipedal hip use among australopithecines, three-dimensional simulations of posture and maximum abduction indicate that AL 288-1 had an adducted hip and a limited range of abduction, similar to modern humans and less than chimpanzees and some monkeys.

Structure and scaling of the lumbar vertebrae in African bovids (Mammalia: Artiodactyla)

Geometric scaling of centrum width and zygapophysial curvature is evidence that lateral flexion of the spine occurs throughout the family, and in heavier bovids, the observed restriction of lumbar flexion and extension to the lumbosacral joint is a consequence of the distribution of the shapes of the centra and the interlocking mechanisms of the zygAPophyses.