Bone Quiz 19

The past two weeks have been full of typical graduate school shenanigans, including:

responding to negative feedback with a calm and professional demeanour;


attempting to collect signatures from faculty without scheduling an appointment;


critically unpacking my dental MNI calculation methods with my colleagues;


and agreeing to present a practice conference talk to a room full of friendly fellow graduate students before learning, at the last minute, that faculty would also be attending;

In short, the trek towards academic englightenment has been particularly complex and torturous of late. In the spirit of spreading the feeling around, I’m giving you the opportunity to share in my sorrows. This week’s bone quiz asks only one question, but requires a bit of thought:

Over the course of my dental analysis this past summer, I opened a bag that contained a few fragments of bone and teeth. I remember this bag relatively distinctly, as after about ten seconds I had formed a hypothesis about how many individuals were represented.  So my question is as follows:

Based on the information you can glean from the view below, what is your Minimum Number of Individuals estimate for this bag, and why?


Good luck! The answers are posted below the jump.

Image Credits: Grumpy cat gif found here; Ninja cat gif found here; Massive chalkboard full of equations gif found here; Astonished red panda gif found here. All photos were taken at the Museo de Jaén in summer 2014.


Bone Quiz 19 - Answers

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4 Responses to Bone Quiz 19

  1. Roberto Cighetti says:

    This time it’s very hard, JB! I cannot figure out anything 😦


  2. Henna says:

    This was really tough, I kinda wish there were more photos, but it looks like there is a partial maxilla and mandible. So would that make it an MNI of 1?


    • JB says:

      Hi Henna,

      I agree, this one is TOUGH. You’re correct about the partial maxilla and mandible, which would lead to an MNI of 1. HOWEVER, the other key source information available in this photograph are the teeth and their level of development, which could increase that MNI. Your logic was sound, you just needed to take it one step further – though believe me, I completely understand the aversion to carefully examing a photograph of loose and disarticulated teeth… Answers were just posted, which should illustrate my point!

      – JB


  3. Pingback: Bone Broke Year in Review 2015 | Bone Broke

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