Morphometric panel regression equations for predicting body mass in immature humans.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Repository Usage Stats


Citation Stats


OBJECTIVES:Predicting body mass is a frequent objective of several anthropological subdisciplines, but there are few published methods for predicting body mass in immature humans. Because most reference samples are composed of adults, predicting body mass outside the range of adults requires extrapolation, which may reduce the accuracy of predictions. Prediction equations developed from a sample of immature humans would reduce extrapolation for application to small-bodied target individuals, and should have utility in multiple predictive contexts. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Here, we present two novel body mass prediction equations derived from 3468 observations of stature and bi-iliac breadth from a large sample of immature humans (n = 173) collected in the Harpenden Growth Study. Prediction equations were generated using raw and natural log-transformed data and modeled using panel regression, which accounts for serial autocorrelation of longitudinal observations. Predictive accuracy was gauged with a global sample of human juveniles (n = 530 age- and sex-specific annual means) and compared to the performance of the adult morphometric prediction equation previously identified as most accurate for human juveniles. RESULTS:While the raw data panel equation is only slightly more accurate than the adult equation, the logged data panel equation generates very accurate body mass predictions across both sexes and all age classes of the test sample (mean absolute percentage prediction error = 2.47). DISCUSSION:The logged data panel equation should prove useful in archaeological, forensic, and paleontological contexts when predictor variables can be measured with confidence and are outside the range of modern adult humans.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Yapuncich, Gabriel S, Steven E Churchill, Noël Cameron and Christopher S Walker (2018). Morphometric panel regression equations for predicting body mass in immature humans. American journal of physical anthropology, 166(1). pp. 179–195. 10.1002/ajpa.23422 Retrieved from

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Gabriel Yapuncich

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education

I hail from the great mountain states of Montana (the state of my birth) and Wyoming (the state of my childhood). I have a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor's degree in the evolutionary biology from Columbia University. I completed my PhD in evolutionary anthropology at Duke University in March 2017, working with Dr. Doug M. Boyer. I have taught gross and microanatomy to Duke University School of Medicine students since 2018. In 2021, I joined the DUSOM MD program as an Assistant Professor of the Practice of Medical Education and Director of Accreditation and Continuous Quality Improvement.


Steven E. Churchill

Professor in the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology

I am a human paleontologist studying morphological and behavioral adaptation in the genus Homo. Through comparative functional-morphological analysis of human fossil remains, coupled with investigation of the archeological record of prehistoric human behavior, my students and I conduct research in the following inter-related areas:

1) The ecology, energetics and adaptive strategies of premodern members of the genus Homo (especially the Neandertals [Homo neanderthalensis] of Europe and western Asia and Middle Pleistocene archaic humans of Africa [variously attributed to H. heidelbergensis, H. rhodesiensis or H. helmei] ) and early members of our own species [H. sapiens] in Africa, the Near East and Europe.

2) Adaptive evolution during the emergence of the genus Homo, focusing on the functional morphology of Australopithecus sediba, H. naledi, and H. erectus.

3) The evolution of human subsistence strategies across the Middle and Late Pleistocene, with an emphasis on the nature of the hunting methods employed by various groups.

4) The evolution of subsistence technology, especially the origins of true long-range projectile weaponry.

5) The community ecology of humans and large-bodied carnivores in Pleistocene Europe and Africa.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.