organisms are incredibly complex and did exhibit fractal properties. Other cranial sutures
that have been examined using fractal analysis are the sagittal suture in humans (Hartwig
1991, Yu et al. 2003), the sagittal and lambdoidal sutures in humans (Long and Long
1992, Gibert and Palmqvist 1995), and cranial sutures in the genus Caiman (Montiero
and Lessa 2000). In each of these studies, the structures under examination exhibited the
characteristics of fractals.
In this study, fractal analysis was conducted with the use of a software program
known as Benoit 1.3 (St. Petersburg, FL). This program allows the user to choose from
several different methods on how the fractal analysis is conducted. The different
methods provided in this program are tailored to accommodate different types of data
sets. Based on this data set, three methods seemed equally applicable. Each of these is
discussed in further detail.
Box Dimension and Information Dimension Methods
The box dimension method of fractal analysis is one of the most widely used
methods due to the relatively simple mathematics involved (Falconer 1990). In Benoit
1.3, the box dimension is defined as the exponent Db in the relationship:
1
N(d) -I
dDb
where N(d) is the number of boxes of linear size d necessary to cover a data set of points
distributed in a two-dimensional plane. A number of boxes are used to cover the data set
points that are evenly distributed on a plane. This may indicate that point density may
influence the results, i.e. the number of data points collected will affect the outcome of
the fractal dimension. This method is often referred to as the grid dimension because the
boxes used are usually part of a grid system.