Morphometrics is the quantitative summary of size and shape differences among organisms and their components.

Keywords: shape; shape change; landmarks; growth and form; deformation; image analysis

Figure 1.

Thirteen landmarks on a typical midsagittal image.

Figure 2.

Procrustes shape coordinates for 28 cases; o, normal; ×, schizophrenic.

Figure 3.

Group mean shapes, normal (o) and schizophrenic (×) subsamples.

Figure 4.

A thin‐plate spline calls attention to a bulge. (Dots indicate average shape for schizophrenic subjects.)

Figure 5.

From patient to normal, extrapolated until it creases. The feature of Figure is now in sharp focus in orientation and position.



Bookstein FL (1991) Morphometric Tools for Landmark Data. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Bookstein FL (1997) Shape and the information in medical images: a decade of the morphometric synthesis. Computer Vision and Image Understanding 66: 97–118.

Bookstein FL (2000) Creases as local features of deformation grids. Medical Image Analysis 4: 93–110.

Dryden IL and Mardia KV (1998) Statistical Shape Analysis. Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Glasbey CA and Horgan GW (1995) Image Analysis for the Biological Sciences. Chichester, UK: John Wiley and Sons.

Good P (1994) Permutation Tests. New York: Springer Verlag.

Marcus LA, Corti M, Loy A, Naylor GJP and Slice DE (eds) (1996) Advances in Morphometrics. NATO ASI Series A: Life Sciences, vol. 284. New York: Plenum.

Reyment RA (1991) Multidimensional Palaeobiology. Oxford: Pergamon Press.

Further Reading

Bookstein FL (1996) Morphometrics. Math Horizons February: 28–31.

Bookstein FL, Schäfer K, Prossinger H et al. (1999) Comparing frontal cranial profiles in archaic and modern Homo by morphometric analysis. The Anatomical Record – The New Anatomist 257: 217–224.

Corti M, Marcus LF and Hingst‐Zaher E (eds) (2000) Geometric morphometrics in mammalogy. Hystrix; Italian Journal of Mammalogy 11(1). [special issue]

Marcus LF, Corti M, Loy A, Naylor GJP and Slice DE (eds) (1996) Advances in Morphometrics. NATO ASI Series A: Life Sciences, vol. 284. New York: Plenum.

O’Higgins P (2000) The study of morphological variation in the hominid fossil record: Biology, landmarks, and geometry. Journal of Anatomy 197: 103–120.

Slice DE, Bookstein FL, Marcus LA, and Rohlf FJ (1995) A Glossary for Geometric Morphometrics. []

Small C (1996) The Statistical Analysis of Shape. New York: Springer‐Verlag.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Bookstein, Fred L(Apr 2001) Morphometrics. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002648]