Title page for ETD etd-07082012-145417

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author McDowell, Jennifer Leigh
Email jennymcdowell86@gmail.com
URN etd-07082012-145417
Document Title Nasal aperture shape and its application for estimating ancestry in modern South Africans
Degree MSc
Department Anatomy
Advisor Name Title
Prof E N L'Abbe Committee Chair
  • geometric morphometrics
  • elliptical fourier analysis
  • craniometrics
  • black South African
  • white South African
  • coloured South African
  • procrustes analysis
  • canonical variate analysis
  • physical anthropology
  • mid-face
Date 2012-09-07
Availability unrestricted
With both a heterogeneous population and a large number of unidentified persons in South Africa, an accurate method to estimate ancestry is needed. The purpose of this study was to evaluate variation in nasal aperture shape in black, white and coloured South Africans, using linear measures and geometric morphometrics (GM), the latter which includes both procrustes analysis (GPA) and elliptical fourier analysis (EFA). To test statistical significance among groups, discriminant function analysis (DFA) and principal component analysis (PCA) was used.

A total of 310 (164 male, 145 female) crania of black, white and coloured South Africans were used. Thirteen standard landmarks, namely, glabella, nasion, nasale superior, dacryon, nasale inferius, alare, most inferior nasal border and subspinale, were digitised with a MicroScribe G2 (Immersion: San Jose, CA). Five linear measures, nasion-dacryon angle (NDA), nasal breadth (NLB), nasal height (NLH), inter-orbital breadth (DKB) and nasion-dacryon subtense (NDS), were calculated. For EFA, photographs were taken in a frontal plane of skulls that had been positioned in the Frankfort horizontal plane on a craniophore.

All classification accuracies for all groups were better than chance. Using linear measures and GPA, black South Africans classified 55-71% correctly, coloured classified 53-61% correctly and whites classified 85-95% correctly. Black and coloured South Africans demonstrated bell-shaped nasal apertures with nasal spines superior to the inferior nasal border. White South Africans had pear-shaped nasal apertures with a nasal spine inferior of the inferior nasal border. Using EFA black South Africans classified 62% correctly. While coloured South Africans only classified 39% correctly, which demonstrates high within group variability. Due to their unique historical development, large variation (heterogeneity) within the coloured group was expected. White South Africans had the highest correct classification accuracy of 85%.

For all methods, misclassification rarely occurred between white and non-white (black and coloured) groups and most difficulties arose in distinguishing non-white groups from each other. High rates of misclassification was also noted between sex designations within a group, which suggests less or an absence of sexual dimorphism for these variables The distinct separation of white South Africans may reflect the mid-to late 20th century political and social separation of white and non-white groups in South Africa.

Nasal aperture shape, alone, is less useful for separating groups such that all groups have relatively intermediate nasal aperture shapes; however the pinched nasal bone structure of white South Africans clearly separates them from the other groups. When using nasal bone and aperture landmarks, linear measures are as accurate as the modern geometric techniques in distinguishing groups.

All methods are feasible to use in the estimation of ancestry on modern South Africans, with craniometry a sensible solution as the data can be rapidly collected, accurately analysed and compared to current reference samples.

Copyright 2012, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

McDowell, JL 2012, Nasal aperture shape and its application for estimating ancestry in modern South Africans, MSc dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07082012-145417 / >


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