Quantifying Skeletal Robusticity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Some skeletal features - including cross-sectional dimensions of long bone diaphyses - appear to be very developmentally plastic and responsive to applied mechanical loadings during life. Cross-sectional geometric analyses of long bone diaphyses are based on modeling the bone as an engineering beam, and calculating properties that reflect strength and rigidity of the beam under mechanical loading. A number of different properties may be determined. This chapter focuses on a few parameters that are most critical for assessing mechanical performance, and thus reconstructing behavior: bending strength in anteroposterior (A-P) and mediolateral (M-L) planes, and average bending/torsional strength. In order to reconstruct behavioral differences between past populations and individuals using cross-sectional parameters, it is important to control for body size effects. This is in fact the basis for the definition of 'skeletal robusticity'. Many studies of long bone cross-sectional geometry have examined second moments of area rather than section moduli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSkeletal Variation and Adaptation in Europeans
Subtitle of host publicationUpper Paleolithic to the Twentieth Century
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781118628430
ISBN (Print)9781118627969
StatePublished - Dec 19 2017


  • Bending strength
  • Cross-sectional geometric analyses
  • Human body size parameter
  • Long bone diaphysis
  • Mechanical loading
  • Second moments of area
  • Section moduli
  • Torsional strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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