Forensic Veterinary Osteology

VME 6578


This course provides an introduction to the non-human skeleton emphasizing the general identification of complete and fragmentary skeletal remains. This course will cover bone biology, development and anatomy, taphonomy, age, and sex. This knowledge forms the underpinning for advanced study in veterinary forensic osteology or zooarchaeolgy. Learning objectives will be accomplished through a combination of lecture material, readings, quizzes, a case study, and online active discussions.


Module Topic
Week 1 Bone Biology
Skeletal Development
Anatomical Terms
Week 2 Determination of Minimum Number of Individuals (MNI)
Case Documentation
Quiz 1
Week 3 Taphopnomy
Week 4 General anatomy of animals
Week 5 Nerves
Quiz 2
Week 6 Mammalian Osteology – Dog, cat
Week 7 Mammalian Osteology – Cow, horse, pig
Week 8 Mammalian Osteology – Cow, horse, pig, Other mammals of potential forensic significance
Quiz 3
Case discussion released
Week 9 Avian Osteology
Week 10 Avian Osteology
Quiz 4
Week 11 Reptilian Osteology – Turtle, snake
Week 12 Reptilian Osteology – Alligator, Other reptiles of potential forensic significance
Week 13 Fish Osteology
Quiz 6
Week 14 Age assessment
Week 15 Sex assessment
Quiz 7
Case discussion due