TY - JOUR A1 - , T1 - Restudying variations of axial skeleton patterning in Eskimo groups with new data from ancient Chukotka (Ekven archaeological site) JO - Eur. J. Anat. SN - 1136-4890 Y1 - 2019 VL - 23 SP - 187 EP - 199 UR - http://www.eurjanat.com/web/paper.php?id=190072mk KW - Human vertebra morphology Cranio-caudal shifts Homeotic transformations Siberia Adaptation to Arctic N2 - This study continues a series of studies by Stewart and Merbs on vertebral column variations in Eskimo groups. The focus is on so called cranio-caudal shifts in spine patterning. The study is performed on a skeletal sample of ancient Eskimos from Siberia (Ekven site, Chukotka) and comparative samples representing population groups of European and African ancestry. In addition to these, literature data are used for comparative analysis to assess the pattern of cranio-caudal border shifts on intra-specific level. The result confirms the presence of significantly increased predisposition of the Eskimos to caudal shifts in spine patterning, expressed both as increased frequencies of complete caudal shifts of thoraco-lumbar and lumbo-sacral borders, as well as minor variations in vertebrae morphology, including variation in the type of articular processes (thoracic/lumbar types) and the position of costo-central articulation at T9 level. Hypotheses explaining this specific character of the Eskimo/Inuit groups are proposed and explored, including gene drift, influence of environmental factors and association with morphological characteristics adaptive to survival in the Arctic. One of the explanations may be the association with characteristic form and size of the thoracic cage that distinguishes the Arctic groups such as Eskimos and Chukchi from groups leaving in more southern areas. This needs to be tested on other groups, living in similar conditions. ER -