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17: Osteology

  • Page ID
    75676

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    Jason M. Organ, Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine

    Jessica N. Byram, Ph.D., Indiana University School of Medicine

    Learning Objectives

    • Identify anatomical position and anatomical planes, and use directional terms to describe relative positions of bones.
    • Describe the gross structure and microstructure of bone as it relates to bone function.
    • Describe types of bone formation and remodeling, and identify (by name) all of the bones of the human skeleton.
    • Distinguish major bony features of the human skeleton like muscle attachment sites and passages for nerves and/or arteries and veins.
    • Identify the bony features relevant to estimating age, sex, and ancestry in forensic and bioarchaeological contexts.
    • Compare human and chimpanzee skeletal anatomy.

    Anthropology is the study of people, and the skeleton is the framework of the person. So while all subdisciplines of anthropology study human behavior (culture, language, etc.) either presently or in the past, biological anthropology is the only subdiscipline that studies the human body specifically. And the fundamental core of the human (or any vertebrate) body is the skeleton. Osteology, or the study of bones, is central to biological anthropology because a solid foundation in osteology makes it possible to understand all sorts of aspects of how people have lived and evolved. For example, bones from archaeological sites can be used to understand what animals people ate; fossilized bones can tell us how human and other primate locomotion has changed through time; and bones can give us clues to how modern and ancient humans died, whether by natural causes or in the context of forensic investigations. This appendix will introduce the reader to the basics of anatomical terminology and will then describe the different regions and bones of the skeleton with an emphasis on those structures that have evolved dramatically in humans compared to our closest living relatives: chimpanzees. It will also highlight some (but not all) of the features of the skeleton (e.g., bumps and grooves on bones) used in a forensic context to estimate the age and sex of recovered remains.

    About the Authors

    Jason M. Organ, Ph.D.

    Indiana University School of Medicine

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    Jason M. Organ

    Jason M. Organ, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Anatomy, cell biology, & physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Co-editor and Writer for the Public Library of Science (PLOS) Science Communication Blog, where he advocates for the importance of storytelling and empathy in science communication. Dr. Organ earned his M.A. in anthropology from the University of Missouri and his Ph.D. in functional anatomy & evolution from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has published over 30 peer-reviewed research papers on evolutionary and mechanical adaptations of bone and muscle in scientific journals and over 40 peer-reviewed teaching modules in digital human anatomy references. Dr. Organ recently completed a three-year term as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Anatomy (AAA), where he advocated for the importance of effective science communication and public outreach at the association level, with an emphasis on connecting with policy makers to ensure sufficient federal funding for science. In 2018, Jason received the prestigious AAA Basmajian Award for excellence in teaching gross anatomy and outstanding accomplishments in biomedical research and scholarship in education. Follow Dr. Organ on Twitter: @OrganJM

    Jessica N. Byram, Ph.D.

    Indiana University School of Medicine

    alt
    Jessica N. Byram

    Jessica N. Byram, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Anatomy, cell biology, & physiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM). Jessica earned her M.S. in human biology with a focus in forensic anthropology from the University of Indianapolis and her Ph.D. in anatomy education at IUSM. Jessica is the director of the anatomy education track Ph.D. program at IUSM. Her research interests include medical professionalism, investigating professional identity formation in medical students and residents, and exploring how to improve the learning environments at medical institutions.

    References

    Auerbach, Benjamin M., and Christopher B. Ruff. 2010. “Stature Estimation Formulae for Indigenous North American Populations.” American Journal of Physical Anthropology 141 (2): 190–207.

    Bass, William. 2005. Human Osteology: A Laboratory and Field Method. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

    Buikstra, Jane E., and Douglas H. Ubelaker. 1994. Standards for Data Collection From Human Skeletal Remains. Arkansas Archaeological Survey Research Series, 44. Fayetteville, AR: Arkansas Archeological Survey.

    Burr, David B., and Jason M. Organ. 2017. “Postcranial Skeletal Development and Its Evolutionary Implications.” In Building Bones: Bone Formation and Development in Anthropology, edited by Christopher J. Percival and Joan T. Richtsmeier, 148–174. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

    Federative Committee on Anatomical Terminology (FCAT). 1998. Terminologia Anatomica: International Anatomical Terminology. Stuttgart, Germany: Georg Thieme Verlag.

    Lundy, J. K. 1988. “A Report on the Use of Fully’s Anatomical Method to Estimate Stature in Military Skeletal Remains.” Journal of Forensic Sciences 33 (2): 534–539.

    Nawrocki, Stephen P., Krista E. Latham, Thomas Gore, Rachel M. Hoffman, Jessica N. Byram, and Justin Maiers. 2018. “Using Elliptical Fourier Analysis to Interpret Complex Morphological Features in Global Populations.” In New Perspectives in Forensic Human Skeletal Identification, edited by Krista E. Latham, Eric J. Bartelink, and Michael Finnegan, 301–312. London: Elsevier/Academic Press.

    Organ, Jason M. 2017. “Vertebral Column.” Amirsys Anatomy Reference Center. Salt Lake City: Elsevier. https://app.anatomyreferencecenter.com/

    White, Tim D., and Pieter A. Folkens. 2000. Human Osteology, 2nd Edition. New York: Academic Press.

    ———. 2005. The Human Bone Manual. London: Elsevier.

    Figure Attributions

    Figure A.1 Regions of the Human Body (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 1.12) by OpenStax has been modified (labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.2 Planes of the Body (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 1.14) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.3 Directional Terms Applied to the Human Body (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 1.13) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.4 Anatomy of a Long Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 6.7) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.5 Bone Cells (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 6.11) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.6 Classifications of Bones (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 6.6) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.7 Intramembranous Ossification (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 6.16) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.8 Endochondral Ossification (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 6.17) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.9 Pathways in Calcium Homeostasis (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 6.24) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.10 Axial and Appendicular Skeleton (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.2) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.11 Parts of the Skull (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.3) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.12 Anterior View of Skull (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.4) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.13 Lateral View of Skull (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.5) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.14 Temporal Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.7) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.15 External and Internal Views of Base of Skull (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.8) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.16 Sphenoid Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.10) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.17 Ethmoid Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.12) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.18 Maxillary Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.14) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.19 Bones of the Orbit (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.16) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.20 Nasal Septum (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.17) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.21 Lateral Wall of Nasal Cavity (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.13) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.22 Hyoid Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.19) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.23 Isolated Mandible (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.15) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.24 Parts of a Typical Vertebra (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.23) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.25 Cervical Vertebra (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.25) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.26 Rib Articulation in Thoracic Vertebrae (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.27) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.27 Lumbar Vertebrae (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.28) by OpenStax is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.28 Sacrum and Coccyx (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.29) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.29 Vertebral Column (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.20) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.30 Thoracic Cage (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 7.32) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.31 Pectoral Girdle (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.3) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.32 Scapula (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.4) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.33 Humerus and Elbow Joint (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.5) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.34 Ulna and Radius (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.6) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.35 Bones of the Wrist and Hand (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.7) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.36 Pelvis (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.12) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.37 The Hip Bone (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.13) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.38 Femur and Patella (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.16) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.39 Tibia and Fibula (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.18) by OpenStax has been modified (one label removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.

    Figure A.40 Bones of the Foot (Anatomy & Physiology, Figure 8.19) by OpenStax has been modified (some labels modified or removed) and is used under a CC BY 4.0 License.


    This page titled 17: Osteology is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Beth Shook, Katie Nelson, Kelsie Aguilera, & Lara Braff, Eds. (Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.