Ontogenetic changes in intralimb proportions in a Romano-Christian period sample from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt.

American journal of human biology : the official journal of the Human Biology Council

PubMedID: 24554285

Bleuze MM, Wheeler SM, Williams LJ, Dupras TL. Ontogenetic changes in intralimb proportions in a Romano-Christian period sample from the Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt. Am J Hum Biol. 2014;26(2):221-8.
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study is to document the appearance of adult patterns in intralimb indices during ontogeny in a skeletal sample from the Kellis 2 cemetery, Dakhleh Oasis, Egypt. In addition, this study explores evolvability in intralimb indices to understand relative differences in sensitivity to ecogeographic variables.

METHODS
Brachial and crural indices were compared across age cohorts with Welch's ANOVA tests and post-hoc Dunnett-Tukey-Kramer (DTK) pairwise multiple comparison tests. Spearman's rank correlation coefficients were used to examine developmental conservation and evolvability in intralimb proportions.

RESULTS
Brachial and crural indices are greatest in the fetus/perinate cohort as compared to all other cohorts, decrease during infancy and early childhood, and increase during middle/late childhood. The adult pattern in the brachial index is first evident in infancy, but is not maintained throughout development. Conversely, the adult pattern in the crural index appears during early childhood and is maintained throughout development. The brachial index shows a higher degree of evolvability than the crural index in utero.

CONCLUSIONS
The shifting pattern in intralimb proportions during development in the Kellis 2 sample is similar to that previously reported from globally diverse samples, which likely reflects the differential growth acceleration of proximal and distal intralimb skeletal elements during ontogeny. The brachial index may be more responsive to climatic conditions while the crural index may be more conserved due to functional demands. The data indicate that Kellis 2 juveniles were under strong selective pressures from climatic factors. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 26:221-228, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.