A new morphometric approach to the study of plio-pleistocene hominin biomechanics and adaptation

  1. Aramendi Picado, Julia
Supervised by:
  1. Gonzalo Ruiz Zapatero Director
  2. Manuel Domínguez Rodrigo Director

Defence university: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Fecha de defensa: 06 October 2021

  1. Jesús R. Álvarez Sanchís Chair
  2. Enrique Cerrillo Cuenca Secretary
  3. Laura Rodríguez Samperio Committee member
  4. Markus Bastir Committee member
  5. S. Almécija Committee member

Type: Thesis


In the present doctoral thesis entitled "A new morphometric approach to the study of Plio-Pleistocene hominin biomechanics and adaptation" a new 3D methodology for the analysis of great ape long bones with special emphasis on the biomechanical interpretation of human fossil remains is introduced. Recent findings of human fossil specimens and taxa have revealed the great complexity of our evolutionary history and the difficulties involved in its comprehension and interpretation. Moreover, the study of hominin long bone remains (humerus, radius, ulna, femur, tibia, fibula) in Palaeoanthropologyis particularly problematic due to the difficulties involved in the analysis of fragmentary skeletal elements that in many occasions are merely represented by small diaphyseal portions. On top of that, there are several additional limitations that affect our ability to study fossil long bone morphology and draw biomechanical inferences, such as the scarcity and poor integrity of the fossil record; the delimitation of the factors that influence morphology and that might diminish the link between bone morphologyand function; and the widespread use of limited modern reference samples that encompass low degrees of interspecific variability. The main objective of the present research is the development of a new morphometric approach to the study of Plio-Pleistocene hominin biomechanics and adaptation that relies on the detailed quantitative characterisation of the external long bone morphology and the implementation of powerful classification methods...