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Keywords:

  • trabecular architecture;
  • calcaneus;
  • locomotion;
  • bone biomechanics;
  • visualization

Abstract

In this pilot study, we point out potential differences between calcaneal trabecular microarchitecture in humans and nonhuman large apes, such as increased degree of anisotropy, reduced bone volume fraction, and very stereotypical orientation of the trabeculae. Even though sample size does not permit us to investigate the issue statistically, the observed differences between humans and other hominoids warrants further in-depth investigation. We also show that some measurements of the trabecular network might be dependent on sampling density, which can be difficult to deal with in the case of animals of different body masses. We also present a new visualization technique that summarizes the trabecular network orientation, and makes it more readily interpretable than the summary statistics of the underlying fabric tensor of the orientation matrix. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.