Anthropomotron – Forensic Anthropology Estimates Made Easy

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Anthropomotron gathers and simplifies calculations used by anthropologists to estimate the height and body mass of an individual based on a few key measurements of their skeleton. For example, the user can enter the length of a femur and Anthropomotron will provide an estimate of the individual’s full standing height tailored to their sex and ancestry.

Anthropomotron is great for anthropologists who need these tools but would prefer them in one convenient place, educators teaching biological or forensic anthropology to their students, and people curious about real anthropological techniques.



  • Estimate adult stature using limb bone length using five samples from different places and time periods
  • Estimate body mass from a variety of skeletal measurements
  • Estimate the minimum number of individuals or the most likely number of individuals from the number of bones present in a collection
  • Conveniently presents techniques from many different published sources
  • Calculates fancy things like associated confidence intervals at several levels
  • Slick blue interface: just tap and swipe your way through a calculation!
  • Great for lab or field use on your smart device


Requires One of the Following:

  • iPhone, iPad, iPod touch
  • Android device (compatibility may vary)
  • Web browser (except IE)


Change Log:

2.1 Stature and Software Updates

  • iOS 8 optimized [iOS]
  • iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus optimized [iOS]
  • Fixed typography of Info section
  • Long menu labels are no longer truncated [iOS]
  • Fixed inability to type a decimal point on iPhone [Web/iOS]


  • Adult Long Bone Measurements
    • Section renamed from Adult Long Bone Length, due to the inclusion of Bidmos (2008) formulae (see below).
    • Reference Sample menu organized by geographical region of the sample. This is where they died, not their ancestry, which is another matter.
    • New formulae!
      • Pearson (1899) is the first use of linear regression to produce equations to estimate stature from long bone length. These formulae are included here for the historically curious
      • Olivier (1976) section now has all of the formulae given in the original article.
      • Bidmos (2008) is notable for providing formulae for femur fragments.
    • Fixed bug in Trotter and Gleser (1952…) 2-limb confidence intervals.
    • Fixed behavior where choosing a reference sample moves the screen down.

2.0 Update to Stature and Interface

  • You can now copy the result to paste it in a different app (note: I believe this is functionally equivalent to having a built-in notepad function and far easier to program)
  • Placement of text in output boxes made more visually appealing.
  • Graphics have been iOS7-ified to remove most shadows and gradients
  • Content background darkened and text whitened for clarity
  • Animations added when some menu items change
  • Interface should be especially improved in Firefox from before
  • Whited out select menu bug in Windows Chrome fixed


  • New subheading added! Calculate juvenile stature estimation using formulae by Ruff (2007) and Robbins Schug et al. (2013).
  • Adult stature estimation is now in its own subheading.
    • New adult long bone length reference samples! Raxter et al. (2008) is an ancient Egyptian sample. Auerbach and Ruff (2010) has ancient Native North Americans, and Pomeroy and Stock (2012) provides equations for ancient Andeans.
    • Tibia-based formulae from Trotter and Gleser (1958) have been changed to the (1952) version where available or removed since the methodology of measuring the tibiae is disputed.
  • New subheading added! Calculate stature from all of the skeletal elements that contribute to stature (Fully 1956; Raxter et al., 2006, 2007)!
  • About/Info page renamed to “Stature Info” and reorganized to consolidate instructions and data tables under subheadings
  • Wrong formulae listed for under Sciulli and Giesen (1993) for estimating female stature. Calculations were not affected.
  • Stature Info page now lists sample sizes used to generate the equations
  • Jumping menu bug in adult long bone length section when using Firefox fixed

Body Mass

  • Missing data table for the first metatarsal technique added
  • About/Info page renamed to “Body Mass Info” and reorganized to consolidate instructions and data tables under subheadings


  • About/Info page renamed to “MNI Info”

1.5.1 Bug fixes

  • Typos untypoed

Body Mass

  • Kilogram to pound conversion bug fixed

1.5 Brings a lot of changes to the body mass section.


  • “Technique” sections added with brief descriptions of the necessary measurements.
  • “About” sections beautified: superscript used for exponents instead of carats. Sample sizes added to sample/formula tables.

Femoral Head

  • Removed “prehistoric adjustment,” which has been deprecated as a useful calculation
  • New technique dubbed Auerbach and Ruff (2004) added. This averages the results of three other estimations (by Ruff et al. 1991, Grine et al. 1992, and McHenry 1992)
  • New technique Ruff et al. (2012) added, combined with the technique for calculating confidence intervals found in Ruff (2007).

Juvenile Femoral Head

  • New technique: Robbins Schug et al. (2013)

Juvenile Femoral Distal Metaphysis

  • New technique: Robbins Schug et al. (2013)

Bi-Iliac Breadth and Stature

  • Ruff et al. (2005) updated formulae replaced Ruff (1991) formulae.


  • New estimator! Both Robbins and colleagues’s technique (2010) and Robbins Schug and colleagues’ (2013) use the second moment of area of the femoral shaft to estimate body mass in juveniles. Input J, Imax and Imin, or a combination of cortical diameter, medullary diameter and cortical thickness to get an estimate.

First Metatarsal

  • New estimator by De Groote and Humphrey (2011) added. This one uses measurements from the first metatarsal (behind your big toe).