Category Anthropometry

Thumbs Up for Teens.

We don’t yet know why but it seems younger mothers have shorter baby’s. A recent study in New Zealand assessed whether increasing maternal age would be associated with changes in height, body composition, as well as lipid and metabolic profiles in childhood. The age of women having their first child has increased considerably over the past decades. […]

The Turkish Seat

The Turkish Seat, also known as the Sella Turcica, forms a bony throne for one of the most important protagonists in our ambitious desire for a smaller human species: the pituitary gland. It is here within the deepest part of the cavity (called the hypophysial fossa) above the Turkish Seat that this small gland, the size of […]

2000+ Genetic Factors

Since 2007 researchers of the Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) consortium are quickly uncovering the polygenic traits that influence human height.  Recently they analysed data from the genomes of another 253,288 subjects and were able to identify 697 gene variants, the pieces of DNA that vary from person to person, in 424 gene regions as related […]

It’s Not (All) About Genes

There is a strong correspondance between the heights of offspring and the average height of the two parents. In Western societies this amounts to height being up to 90% heritable. But although who your parents are is the predominant determination of height, it’s no excuse for it. Heritability statistics do not reflect the relative importance of […]

Ituri Zebras (Mbuti)

At an adult height of only 135-140 centimeters the Mbuti of Congo are about 25 to 30% shorter than an average person and among the shortest people alive today. Their average weight of only 40 kg constitutes a significantly more intelligent and efficient body design, needing far less resources to maintain itself. In our investigation on […]

Short Hearts

Despite what many of us think, tall stature is not synonymous with health. Although anthropometric historians like Robert Fogel and John Komlos stress that the reasons why we are so tall are the result of better health, this doesn’t mean that being tall itself is healthy. There’s a crucial difference between cause and effect. A […]

Growth Deceleration

Adult size isn’t just determined by how fast we grow. It depends also, and perhaps foremost, on how and when this growth stops. Somatic growth results from both cell proliferation (hyperplasia) and cell enlargement (hypertrophy). In mammals, somatic growth is rapid in embryonic and early postnatal life but decelerates dramatically with age, declining toward zero as […]


There’s an undisputable relationship between longevity and height. Short people live longer. Accordingly, most supercentenarians (people of 110 years and older)  are relatively small, and not because they shrink with age. Here are some heights versus age at death of prominent supercentenarians. 1.Jeanne Calment 149,9 cm, 122 yrs and 164 days 2.Sarah Knauss 139,7 cm, […]

Hhp (Human Height Print)

Tall people need more resources than short people. That’s why it’s rather alarming that the human species continues to grow taller. In fact our increasing height puts more pressure on the ecosystem services than the total population growth. If people become 20% taller this creates over 70% more pressure whereas a 20% population growth would mean 20% […]

Plus Size Camouflage

One of the more complicated issues in shrinking the human species is how to deal with generational size differences. New generations will be smaller than older generations. Heleen Klopper, a designer especially interested in textiles, speculates on a future fashion and make-up of camouflaging the large as well as the small. High heels, vertical stripes, short hair […]