Allometric shape vector projection: A new method for the identification of allometric shape characters and trajectories applied to the human astragalus (talus)

Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, Division of Biosciences, University College London, London, UK.
Journal of Theoretical Biology (Impact Factor: 2.3). 03/2011; 272(1):64-71. DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2010.11.030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The surface morphology of the human astragalus (talus) is difficult to represent accurately using landmarks as it is essentially globular in shape. Advances in laser scanning technology allow fast and accurate capture of bone surface morphology. However, methodologies to utilise these new accurate 3D data have not been fully developed. The present study uses canonical sampling of whole surface morphology attained through laser scanning and for the first time applies the technique to analysis of bone morphology. We introduce a new technique for identifying allometric shape characters in whole bone surface morphology. In a sample of adult human astragalus the new technique is successful in identifying and isolating intra-specific allometric shape characters in a bone which typically lacks landmarks and has, consequently, proved difficult to analyse using traditional 3D morphometric methods.

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