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Keywords:

  • Fourier analysis;
  • Distal femur;
  • Hominoid;
  • Discriminant functions;
  • Size and shape;
  • Canonical analysis

Abstract

A quantitative description of the shape of the distal femur is provided by Fourier analysis. Fourier analysis also facilitates the separation of the size and shape components which allows the removal of the distorting effect of size. Hence, comparisons between the hominoid groups can be based solely on shape.

A sample of 91 hominoid distal femora from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History was used to make comparisons based on size and shape as well as shape only.

It is suggested that unless the effect of size is minimized or removed, generally not possible with the traditional metrical approach, measures of biological distance will be distorted.