Morphometric Analysis of the Scapula and Their Differences between Females and Males

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Ana Camily Oliveira Costa; Pedro Paulo Feitosa de Albuquerque; Priscilla Virgínio de Albuquerque; Belisa Duarte Ribeiro de Oliveira; Yuri Mateus Lima de Albuquerque & Vitor Caiaffo


Sexual dimorphism is a key role for forensic anthropology. It allows ascertaining the sex of certain biological discoveries. By postmortem studies it is possible to establish a profile of individuals. This profile allows the identification in cases where bodies are skeletonized. Several bones present dimorphism and have been studied to increase approach for forensic identification. This study morphometrically evaluated the scapula bone and compared the measurements between scapula bone of female and male cadavers. Sixty parts were utilized in this experiment. All cadavers belonged to the Department of Animal Morphology and Physiology of the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco. The scapula bones were photographed and measured through software ImageJ®. Eight parameters of measurements were considered: scapula height (SH), distance between basis and spine (DBSp), scapula width (SW), spine width (SpW), acromion-coracoid width (ACW) and scapula body width at 2 (L2), 4 (L4) and 6 (L6) cm of the lower angle. The median morphometric values for the male scapulas were: SH - 15,143±1,144; DBSp - 7,94±0,61; SW - 10,24±0,65; SpW - 14,01±0,81; ACW - 9,06±0,58; L2 - 4,40±0, 54; L4 - 5, 51 ± 0, 67; L6 - 6, 70±0, 71. The median morphometric numbers for the female scapulas were: SH - 13, 26±0, 79; DBSp - 6, 96±0,47; SW-9, 08±0,50; SW - 12,43±0,69; ACW-7, 79±0,55/L2 - 3,83±0,39; L4 4,97±0,41; L6 - 6,29±0,45. All parameters measured showed values significantly higher (p < 0.05) for the male’s scapula. The scapula is a bone sexually dimorphic and can potentially be used in forensic investigations. Consequently this data presents the need of more studies utilizing this bone for personal identification in other populations as well. Thus the results of these studies can be useful in cases where other methods are not applicable, increasing the range of options in forensic investigation.

KEY WORDS: Scapula; Morphometry; Sexual dimorphism; Forensic anthropology.

How to cite this article

OLIVEIRA COSTA, A. C.; FEITOSA DE ALBUQUERQUE, P. P.; DE ALBUQUERQUE, P. V.; RIBEIRO DE OLIVEIRA, B. D.; LIMA DE ALBUQUERQUE, Y. M. & CAIAFFO, V. Morphometric analysis of the scapula and their differences between females and males. Int. J. Morphol., 34(3):1164-1168, 2016.