Adult pelvic shape change is an evolutionary side effect


In their interesting article, Huseynov et al. (1) propose the “developmental obstetric dilemma (DOD) hypothesis,” which posits that human pelvic morphology reflects the changing obstetric needs during a female’s lifetime. In particular, the authors state that the female pelvis reaches its “obstetrically most adequate morphology” during peak fertility, around the age of 25–30 y, and reverts to an obstetrically less-adequate morphology thereafter, when fertility declines.Because the reported adult variation in pelvis shape was large, moving-average trajectories highly depend on the smoothing parameters, which were not published by Huseynov et al. (1). Using data from Fischer and Mitteroecker (2), which are available from the DRYAD data repository, we were able to reproduce some, but not all of the results of Huseynov et al. (1).

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112:5655-5660