Testing for size and allometric differences in fossil hominin body mass estimation

Authors

  • Natalie M. Uhl,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
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  • Christopher W. Rainwater,

    1. Department of Anthropology, Center for the Study of Human Origins, New York University, New York, NY 10012
    2. New York Consortium in Evolutionary Primatology
    3. Office of Chief Medical Examiner, New York, NY 10016
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  • Lyle W. Konigsberg

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801
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Correspondence to: Natalie Uhl, 109 Davenport Hall, 607 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801. E-mail: uhl1@illinois.edu

ABSTRACT

Body size reconstructions of fossil hominins allow us to infer many things about their evolution and lifestyle, including diet, metabolic requirements, locomotion, and brain/body size relationships. The importance of these implications compels anthropologists to attempt body mass estimation from fragmentary fossil hominin specimens. Most calculations require a known “calibration” sample usually composed of modern humans or other extant apes. Caution must be taken in these analyses, as estimates are sensitive to overall size and allometric differences between the fossil hominin and the reference sample. Am J Phys Anthropol 151:215–229, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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