Osteology + Anatomy Tips

If you’re an osteology or anatomy student seeking tips and tricks, an instructor looking for engaging identification and siding tutorials, or are simply  interested in learning more about human bones, look no further! On this page I’ve compiled links to all of my identification and siding posts, many of which come with printable pdfs. The posts are organized by anatomical region, below.

If there are specific future posts you’d be interested in seeing, jot them down in the comments. Similarly, if you’ve used any of my blog posts when teaching, please let me know as I’m trying to gauge how useful these posts are for instructors!

Distinguishing categories of teeth (molars vs. premolars vs. canines vs. incisors)

Temporal bones (whole bones, zygomatic process)
Parietal bones (you can test your skills here)

Spine and Rib Cage
Vertebrae (by superior articular facets, by transverse and spinous processes)

Arm, Wrist and Hand
Humerus (identifying shaft fragments)
Carpals (Scaphoid, Lunate, Capitate, Pisiform, Hamate)

Pelvic Girdle
Ossa Coxae

Leg, Ankle and Foot
Femur (identifying shaft fragments)
Tarsals (Calcaneus, Cuneiforms, Navicular)

Points of Palpable Anatomy
Anatomical snuffbox
Palmaris longus tendon
Subclavian artery
Zygomatic arch

Image Credit: Wunderkammer by Santiago Caruso, found here.

6 Responses to Osteology + Anatomy Tips

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

  2. Claire Gold says:

    These osteology tips are invaluable for teaching my intro. to forensic anthropology course. Having to combine osteology AND forensic anthropology into one course is challenging and we must make quick work of the bone features and identifying fragments. Thank you for the time you have spent putting all of your knowledge into one place to share with others! You really should put them into a lab workbook and publish! Thank you!


  3. Erica Lopez-Brown says:

    Where’s the shoulder girdle?
    Thank you so much


    • JB says:

      Hi Erica,

      I don’t currently have any posts up on the shoulder girdle. I’ll think about coming up with a scapular post some time soon!


  4. Sue says:

    Hi Jess
    I was wondering if you had any tips on quickly identifying perimortem from post-mortem trauma?


    • JB says:

      Hi Sue!

      That would make for a good future post, but so far the populations I’ve worked on have had relatively low levels of peri-mortem trauma, so this might have to wait until a few years down the road. In the mean time, check out White & Folkens’ Human Bone Manual, Chapter 5 (I have the 2005 edition, the chapter number might change in other editions), and Buikstra & Ubelaker’s Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains, Chapter 9 (1994).


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