Human bones play a huge part in a person’s biological profile. By analyzing bones, we can tell a lot about people, including their age, sex, stature, and ancestry. In addition, bones can identify specific characteristics, like diseases and injury. By incorporating concepts and methods from biological anthropology, anthropologists can assist in identifying not only which bones are which but who they belong to.
Today, it is very common for anthropologists to be called upon to investigate remains and help to identify individuals. To assist in this, these professionals have to be aware of how the human skeleton differs from one individual to the next.
One of the first things that must be determined is whether the material is actually a bone. Plastic, wood fragments, rocks, and concrete can easily be mistaken for bone. Another task is to confirm that the bone is that of a human and not of a non-human, like an animal. Examining the shape, size, and structure of the bone helps make this determination.
The 200 bones that make up the human skeleton have a variety of shapes and are generally classified by their appearance. The four classifications are long, flat, irregular and short. For example, the humerus, femur, and clavicle are classified as long bones as their name implies, long, and thin.
No bones about it, without bones, the human body would be falling all over the place. Test your skills and see how much you know about identifying human bones.