Caterina Minghetti, William Parr, Timothy Ryan, Kristian J. Carlson, Stephen Wroe, Giorgio Gruppioni, Colin Shaw, Jaap Saers, Anne Su, Luca Fiorenza, Stephen Frost, Stefano Benazzi

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Understanding talar functional morphology is pivotal to understand the evolution of hominin bipedalism due to its role during locomotion, in part controlling dorsi-plantar flexion, ab-adduction and in-eversion of the foot. Despite recent contributions having utilized increasingly advanced digital methods, further work is warranted to quantify talar shape variation in hominoid primates. Here we apply a geometric morphometric landmark based method, to explore morphological differences in hominoid tali. A template of 251 landmarks (n=15) and semilandmarks (n=236) was digitized on 3D digital models of 80 hominoid tali (H. sapiens=20, Pan=20, Gorilla=20, Pongo=20). The models were superimposed with Generalized Procrustes Analysis (GPA), which translates and rotates to minimize the squared distances between homologous landmarks and scales to unit centroid size. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to explore morphological variation of the sample. The first three PCs describe 52,1% of sample variance. Great apes and modern humans separate on PC1 (30,5%), where specimens with positive scores (great apes) exhibited a shorter neck and an overall rounder shape, those with negative scores (H. sapiens) exhibited a longer neck and shallow groove for the flexor hallucis longus tendon area, with an overall stretched shape. PC2 (13,5%) is less informative, though a trend within the great apes sample can be observed from a flatter, longer positive shape to a rounder, shorter negative shape. Future work will include early hominin tali to shed light on the functional demands experienced by the ankle and the hindfoot during the evolution of hominin bipedalism.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventXXI Congress of the Italian Anthropological Association - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 3 Sep 20155 Sep 2015
Conference number: 21


ConferenceXXI Congress of the Italian Anthropological Association
Abbreviated titleAAI


  • Talus
  • Evolution
  • Shape
  • Locomotion
  • Geometric morphometrics

Cite this

Minghetti, C., Parr, W., Ryan, T., Carlson, K. J., Wroe, S., Gruppioni, G., Shaw, C., Saers, J., Su, A., Fiorenza, L., Frost, S., & Benazzi, S. (2015). EXPLORING MORPHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCE IN HOMINOID TALI BASED ON GEOMETRIC MORPHOMETRIC METHODS. 46-46. Abstract from XXI Congress of the Italian Anthropological Association, Bologna, Italy.