Morphometrics of the Neandertal talus

Authors

  • John G. Rhoads,

    1. Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
    Current affiliation:
    1. Department of Anthropology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520
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  • Erik Trinkaus

    1. Department of Anthropology, Peabody Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
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Abstract

A number of morphometric analyses of Neandertal tali since the turn of the century have failed to reach a consensus on the functional affinities of these fossil foot bones. To clarify the problem a univariate and multivariate analysis of the available Neandertal and Skhūl tali in relation to those of modern humans was performed using nine linear dimensions and four angles. Our analysis indicates that Neandertal tali are indistinguishable from modern human tali in the implied locomotor capabilities and similar in overall size and proportions. The primary differences between the fossil and modern tali involve the greater articular robustness of the fossils, probably to compensate for higher levels of biomechanical stress.

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