This paper analyzes the secular trends in growth and body proportion among children and adolescents from 1985 to 2005 in Shandong, China. In this 20-year period, the means of stature and body weight increased rapidly. The increments of stature and body weight in subjects aged 7–18 were 4.67–8.80 cm (boys), 3.26–7.21 cm (girls), 4.65–12.85 kg (boys) and 3.36–8.03 kg (girls); the increments of stature and body weight in 13-year-old boys (from 154.27 to 163.07 cm and 41.84 to 54.69 kg) and 12-year-old girls (from 147.69 to 154.90 cm and 36.80 to 44.83 kg) were biggest, a rate of 4.40 cm and 6.43 kg per decade for 13-year-old boys and 3.61 cm and 4.02 kg per decade for 12-year-old girls. Body mass index (BMI) increased rapidly: the average increments of BMI for the subjects aged 7–18 were 2.13 kg/m2 (boys) and 1.20 kg/m2 (girls). There were significant differences in body proportion (relative sitting height, acromiocristal index) among children and adolescents between 1985 and 2005. Positive secular trends occurred in this group of children and adolescents in Shandong Province, China during the 20-year study period, which may reflect secular changes in socioeconomic status.
Footwear comfort is primarily determined by the fit between the foot and the shoe. Foot deformations that cannot be accommodated by the flexibility of the material of the shoe upper have to be dealt with by other adaptive means. The major purpose of this study was to determine foot deformations using nine foot dimensions—foot length, arch length, foot width, midfoot width, heel width, midfoot height, medial malleolus height of the most protruding point, lateral malleolus height of the most protruding point and ball girth—as well as the eversion/inversion of the foot while bearing weight. Each foot of 30 Hong Kong Chinese adults (15 males and 15 females) was laser scanned under the conditions of no body-weight (NWB), half body-weight (HWB) and full body-weight (FWB). The nine dimensions and foot rotation were determined with a computer program. The results show that the foot became significantly longer, wider, and reduced in height while everting with increased loading on the foot. The midfoot had relatively large changes in width and height when compared to the forefoot and rearfoot. Even though there were no obvious patterns between the left and right foot for both males and females, considerable differences did exist between the two feet of a few participants. Foot length as a percentage of stature changed from 14.94% to 15.10% to 15.13% in males as the load on the foot increased from NWB to HWB to FWB, respectively. These percentages were 14.56%, 14.72%, and 14.77% for females. Even though foot width was significantly correlated with the body weight of males, no such relationship exists in Hong Kong females.
European ‘gypsies’, commonly referred to as Romanies, are represented by a large number of groups spread across many countries. We performed a population genetic study on 200 unrelated Romany males to reveal the genetic origin of the Slovak Romany population. On the basis of Y-chromosome haplotypes, we determined the corresponding Y-haplogroups using Whit Athey’s Haplogroup Predictor. The obtained distribution of haplogroups provided strong evidence of Asian origins, especially Indian. The Indian Y-haplogroup H was the most prevalent and represented 40% of all the samples. The distribution of haplogroups was: E1b1b, 21%; J2, 16.5%; I1a, 14%. Haplogroups R1a, R1b, I2a, and N1 were observed in small frequencies. The obtained genetic structure indicated that the endogamous Romany population has been shaped by a genetic drift and differential admixture, and correlates with the migratory history of the Romanies in Europe.
The population history of Japan has been widely interpreted in terms of an original Jomon occupation from the Neolithic period followed by admixture with Yayoi immigrants associated with the spread of rice farming agriculture from western Japan. According to this perspective, the people in areas remote from the western mainland island of Honshu, Japan would be less affected by the genes of immigrants. This article uses metric and nonmetric dental data to examine the genetic influence of immigrants among the early modern Edo and modern residents in the Tohoku district of northeastern Honshu. The results of these dental-trait analyses suggest a smaller gene flow of immigrants in Tohoku people, as compared to contemporary Japanese in the central and western parts of Japan. The metric dental data imply the gene flow from the west to the north was still due mainly to the males even in recent times. The findings of some Jomon features in the late historic and modern Tohoku tooth samples support the speculation that the ancient inhabitants of this region, in the past referred to as ‘Emishi’, are people who still have preserved genetic traits of the indigenous people.
This communication documents one of the earliest verifiable cases of human paralysis associated with severe spinal pathology. A series of skeletal abnormalities is described for a young adult male (M9) from a Southeast Asian Neolithic community. Differential diagnosis suggests that M9 suffered from a severely disabling congenital fusion of the spine (Klippel–Feil Syndrome, Type III), resulting in child-onset lower body paralysis at a minimum (maximally quadriplegia). M9 experienced severe, most probably total, incapacitation for at least a decade prior to death. In the prehistoric context, this individual’s condition would have rendered him completely dependent on others for survival.
The quantitative and demographic features of infant-corpse-carrying behavior in Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) at Takasakiyama, southern Japan, have been studied over 24 years. More than 91% of the dead infants that were carried by their mothers were abandoned within a week. Mothers of all age classes exhibited this behavior and neither the carrying rate (number of carriers/number of deaths) nor the duration were significantly different between young and older mothers. The sex of the infant was not a decisive factor. Nearly 80% of all cases observed involved infants that had died within 30 days of birth. The oldest infant whose corpse was observed being carried had died at 253 days. The overall carrying rate was 15% when death had occurred within 253 days and 28.7% for infants that died within 30 days of birth. Most mothers whose infants had lived for more than a month abandoned the corpse soon after death. Some females persist in exhibiting behaviors performed towards live infants but the exact reasons for this are unclear at present.
This paper examines the population affinity of the Okhotsk-culture people who settled along the northeastern coastal areas of the islands of Hokkaido and Sakhalin during the 5th and 11th centuries, on the bases of dental metric and nonmetric features. Based on neighbor-joining analyses of both metric and nonmetric data, the Okhostk people, eastern Siberians, and subarctic American natives were linked more closely to each other than to other East Asian and Pacific samples. In particular, the nonmetric data analysis demonstrated the close linkage between the Okhotsk people and tribes in the Amur River Basin, suggesting that the Okhotsk people were descended from eastern Siberians who might share common ancestry with the present-day Amur people and subarctic Americans. Beside the above demonstration of Okhotsk affinities among the populations settling along the Circum Sea of the Okhotsk rim, as far as the metric dental traits are concerned, close resemblances were found between the Okhotsk, Neolithic Jomon, and Hokkaido Ainu. However, with regard to their overall dental characteristics, it is not clear whether such odontmetric similarities indicate the evidence of substantial genetic interaction between the Okhotsk and Jomon–Ainu lineages, because their nonmetric traits data indicate a quite distant relationship from each other.