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Revista argentina de antropología biológica

On-line version ISSN 1514-7991


TORCIDA, Sebastián  and  PEREZ, S. Ivan. Análisis de procrustes y el estudio de la variación morfológica. Rev Arg Antrop Biol [online]. 2012, vol.14, n.1, pp.131-141. ISSN 1514-7991.

The study of morphological variation has occupied a central place in anthropology, as well as in the rest of the natural sciences, from its emergence in the eighteenth century. From a quantitative point of view, the study of morphological variation seeks information about the size and shape of a structure. Traditionally, these properties have been studied using linear variables such as "width", "length", "height" and using multivariate statistical methods. In the eighties and nineties, the quantitative techniques for analyzing morphological variation were revolutionized by the development and implementation of a method to study the Cartesian coordinates of anatomical landmarks, the Procrustes analysis. Since then, this method has gained prominence in the field of biological anthropology. The aim of this paper is to revise the principles of the Procrustes analysis applied to coordinates of anatomical landmarks and discuss the use of its different versions in bioanthropology. The text is organized as follows: first, there is a review of several basic concepts involved in the morphometric studies, among them are the concepts of size and shape. Secondly, the principles of the Procrustes analysis are discussed, and the differences between its two major versions, the least-squares fit and the repeated-medians robust fit, are pointed out. Finally, some examples of the application of these methods to the field of biological anthropology are shown and discussed.

Keywords : Geometric morphometrics; Landmarks; Least squares and repeated-medians Procrustes Analysis.

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