Comparative Osteology

A Laboratory and Field Guide of Common North American Animals

By

  • Bradley Adams, Forensic Anthropologist, New York, NY, USA
  • Pam Crabtree, Department of Anthropology, Center for the Study of Human Origins, New York University, New York, NY

In the forensic context it is quite common for nonhuman bones to be confused with human remains and end up in the medical examiner or coroner system. It is also quite common for skeletal remains (both human and nonhuman) to be discovered in archaeological contexts. While the difference between human and nonhuman bones is often very striking, it can also be quite subtle. Fragmentation only compounds the problem. The ability to differentiate between human and nonhuman bones is dependent on the training of the analyst and the available reference and/or comparative material.

Comparative Osteology is a photographic atlas of common North American animal bones designed for use as a laboratory and field guide by the forensic scientist or archaeologist. The intent of the guide is not to be inclusive of all animals, but rather to present some of the most common species which also have the highest likelihood of being potentially confused with human remains.

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Audience

Forensic anthropologists/osteologists, medical examiners/coroners, forensic professionals in law enforcement and academia, archaeologists, students in biological, biophysical, biomedical and paleontological sciences.

 

Book information

  • Published: November 2011
  • Imprint: ACADEMIC PRESS
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-388437-4

Reviews

"At long last we now have a well illustrated, comprehensive photographic guide to distinguish human skeletal remains from a wide range of common animal species. Most previous guides to determine whether a bone was human or animal illustrated a very small number of non-human species.

This atlas also illustrates a range of butchery marks and includes prehistoric (stone tools) and historic (metal cleavers, saws and knife marks) found on bones. In addition, Adams and Crabtree illustrate both adult and juvenile animal bones as well as adult and sub-adult human bones.

This book is a must for the library of all osteologists or biological scientists called upon to identify human and non-human skeletal remains."-William Bass, Retired, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville




Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction, Scope of Book, and Credits
Introduction
Archaeological Context
Forensic Context
Book Terminology and Organization
Background of the Specimens Included in this Book
Photographic Credits

Chapter 2: Crania
Crania of Large Species
Adult Human
Horse
Cow
Bear
Deer
Pig
Goat
Sheep
Dog
Crania of Small Species
Newborn Human
Raccoon
Opossum
Cat
Rabbit
Duck
Chicken

Chapter 3: Humeri
Humeri of Large Species
Adult Human
Horse
Bear
Cow
Pig
Dog
Deer
Sheep
Goat
Humeri of Small Species
Newborn Human
Turkey
Duck
Raccoon
Cat
Opossum
Rabbit
Chicken

Chapter 4: Radii and Ulnae
Radii and Ulnae of Large Species
Adult Human
Horse
Cow
Bear
Pig
Deer
Dog
Sheep
Goat
Radii and Ulnae of Small Species
Newborn Human
Turkey
Raccoon
Cat
Duck
Opossum
Chicken
Rabbit

Chapter 5: Femora
Femora of Large Species
Adult Human
Horse
Cow
Bear
Pig
Deer
Dog
Sheep
Goat
Femora of Small Species
Newborn Human
Raccoon
Turkey
Cat
Rabbit
Opossum
Chicken
Duck

Chapter 6: Tibiae
Tibiae of Large Species
Adult Human
Horse
Cow
Bear
Deer
Dog
Sheep
Pig
Goat
Tibiae of Small Species
Newborn Human
Turkey
Chicken
Duck
Raccoon
Cat
Rabbit
Opossum

Chapter 7: Human (Homo sapiens)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Sternum
Pelvis
Sacrum
Vertebrae
Metacarpals, Metatarsals, and Tarsals

Chapter 8: Horse (Equus caballus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius/Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Sternum
Pelvis
Vertebrae
Metacarpus and Metatarsus

Chapter 9: Cow (Bos taurus and Bos indicus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius/Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Scapula
Pelvis
Metacarpus, Metatarsus, and Tarsals

Chapter 10: Bear (Ursus americanus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Sternum
Pelvis
Sacrum
Vertebrae
Metacarpals, Metatarsals, and Tarsals

Chapter 11: Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Scapula
Pelvis
Sacrum
Vertebrae
Metacarpus, Metatarsus, and Tarsals

Chapter 12: Pig (Sus scrofa)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius/Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Sternum
Pelvis
Vertebrae
Metacarpals, Metatarsals, and Tarsals

Chapter 13: Goat (Capra hircus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Scapula
Pelvis
Metacarpus and Metatarsus

Chapter 14: Sheep (Ovis aries)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius/Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Scapula
Pelvis
Sacrum
Metacarpus, Metatarsus, and Tarsals

Chapter 15: Dog (Canis familiaris)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Pelvis
Sacrum
Vertebrae

Chapter 16: Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Scapula
Pelvis
Vertebrae and Baculum

Chapter 17: Opossum (Didelphis virginiana)
Cranium and Mandible
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Pelvis
Vertebrae

Chapter 18: Cat (Felis catus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Scapula
Pelvis
Vertebrae

Chapter 19: Rabbit (Sylvilagus carolinensis and Oryctolagus cunniculus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius/Ulna
Femur
Tibia/Fibula
Scapula
Pelvis
Sacrum
Vertebra

Chapter 20: Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibiotarsus
Fibula
Pectoral Girdle
Pelvis
Synsacrum
Carpometacarpus

Chapter 21: Duck (Anas platyrhynchos)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibia
Fibula
Pectoral Girdle
Sternum
Pelvis
Synsacrum
Carpometacarpus and Tarsometatarsus

Chapter 22: Chicken (Gallus gallus)
Cranium
Humerus
Radius
Ulna
Femur
Tibiotarsus
Fibula
Pectoral Girdle
Sternum
Pelvis
Carpometacarpus and Tarsometatarsus

Chapter 23: Miscellaneous Animals
Subadult Skeletal Elements
Adult Skeletal Elements
Rat
Bobcat
Fox
Turtle

Chapter 24: Traces of Butchery and Bone Working
Introduction
Modern Butchery: Eighteenth Century to Present
Butchery Using Cleavers and Heavy Knives
Prehistoric Butchery
Bone as a Raw Material