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Bone structural data for the Denver Longitudinal Growth Study

Cite this dataset

Ruff, Christopher (2021). Bone structural data for the Denver Longitudinal Growth Study [Dataset]. Dryad.


Long bone structural dimensions have been shown to be responsive to mechanical loadings during life. Thus, they can be used to track behavioral changes as well as changes in body size during ontogeny. Radiographic measurements of long bone structural properties (lengths, cross-sectional geometric properties, articular breadths) were carried out for a sample of 20 children who had participated in the Denver Growth Study. An average of 36 longitudinal time points for each individual, taken at 6-month intervals between early infancy and late adolescence, were included. Anthropometric and muscle area dimensions were also available. The data have been previously used in a range of studies, including growth changes in bone strength, adaptation to bipedalism, and body size prediction in juveniles.


Data were collected from radiographs taken as part of the Denver Growth Study, which was carried out in the 1930s-1960s. Long bone lengths, articular breadths, and diaphyseal total and cortical breadths of the femur and humerus were measured, with the latter used to derive section properties (measures of bone rigidity and strength). Please see the ReadMe file for more methodological details.

Usage notes

Two files are provided, one with and one without interpolations for missing data. Please see the ReadMe file for more information.


Wenner-Gren Foundation, Award: 6084