Comparative Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Guide of Common North American Animals

Other | August 12, 2011

byBradley Adams, Bradley Adams, Pam Crabtree

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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 Osteologyis 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.



  • An affordably priced, compact laboratory/field manual, comparing human and nonhuman bones
  • Contains almost 600 high-quality black and white images and diagrams, including inch and centimeter scales with each photograph
  • Written by the foremost forensic scientists with decades of experience in the laboratory and as expert witnesses
  • An additional Companion Web site hosts images from the volume the reader can magnify and zoom into to see specific landmarks and features on bones http://booksite.academicpress.com/9780123884374

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From the Publisher

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 str...

Pam Crabtree is an associate professor of anthropology in the anthropology department at New York Univeristy. She joined the NYU faculty in 1990. Crabtree's primary research interest focuses on the zooarchaeology of early medieval Europe. The results of her research have been published in the Journal of Field Archaeology, World Archaeo...

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Format:OtherDimensions:460 pages, 1 × 1 × 1 inPublished:August 12, 2011Publisher:Academic PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0123884403

ISBN - 13:9780123884404

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Scope of Book, and Credits
2. Crania
3. Humeri
4. Radii and Ulnae
5. Femora
6. Tibiae
7. Human(Homo sapiens)
8. Horse(Equus caballus)
9. Cow(Bos taurus and Bos indicus)
10. Bear(Ursus americanus)
11. Deer(Odocoileus virginianus)
12. Pig(Sus scrofa)
13. Goat(Capra hircus)
14. Sheep(Ovis aries)
15. Dog(Canis familiaris)
16. Raccoon(Procyon lotor)
17. Opossum(Didelphis virginiana)
18. Cat(Felis catus)
19. Rabbit(Sylvilagus carolinensis and Oryctolagus cunniculus)
20. Turkey(Meleagris gallopavo)
21. Duck(Anas platyrhynchos)
22. Chicken(Gallus gallus)
23. Miscellaneous Animals
24. Traces of Butchery and Bone Working