International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2021 (Vols. 1-59)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
Special Issue dedicated to the memory of Vladimír Novotný is in preparation.

SCImago Journal & Country Rank
Full text of article
'Vančata V, Hellerová D, 1981: A Contribution to the Problem of Relationship Between Shape and Function in Human Evolution from the Point of View of Functional Analysis. Anthropologie (Brno) 19, 3: 231-235'.
One of the basic aspects of the interpretation of the fossil material is the relationship of the function and the shape of the given part of skeleton. Antithetical character of data obtained from fossil and recent materials forces us to construct a hierarchical system in which the value of characters corresponds to a definite type of generality in the given structure. Features characterizing biological shape can have three sorts of character: either is their origin strictly genetically determined, or they are features without an unambiguous determination, occuring permanently owing to definite properties of the given structure (e.g., of the locomotor apparatus), and finally features, the quality and occurence of which is not "strictly causal". As an example of a theoretical analysis that of features of femur and pelvis of hominids is given. Whereas in femur the three above levels of features can be in principle recognized, in pelvis, in view of the fact that it is a part of skeleton fulfilling both the locomotor and the reproductive function, the determination of features is much less unambiguous. Especially difficult is to deliminate the measure in which the expression of the studied feature is genetically determined. Solution of this problem will require a detailed elaboration of a whole series of ontogenetical and phylogenetical problems, both methodical and methodological ones.

 Full text (PDF)

 Export citation

 Related articles