Multivariate Analysis of an Early Hominid Metacarpal from Swartkrans

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  14 Apr 1972:
Vol. 176, Issue 4031, pp. 159-161
DOI: 10.1126/science.176.4031.159


Discriminant analysis permits hand bones of living primate genera to be represented as swarms of points in a multidimensional statistical framework within which intergroup relationships, and the affinities of fossil forms, can be examined. The metacarpal of Paranthropus from Swartkrans, South Africa, was so located with respect to groups of monkeys, apes, and modern man. The results suggest that the fossil metacarpal may be functionally similar to that of chimpanzees.