Osteological Manuals

Here’s a  list of helpful osteological manuals depicting skeletal elements from Arctic species (alphabetical by author):

Balkwill, D., Cumbaa, S. L., 1992. A guide to the identification of postcranial bones of Bos taurus and Bison bisonSyllogeus, No. 71. Canadian Museum of Nature.

Cannon, D. Y. 1987. Marine Fish Osteology: A Manual for Archaeologists. Simon Fraser University Press.

Cohen, A. and D. Serjeantson. 1996. A Manual for the Identification of Bird Bones from Archaeological Sites, revised ed. Archetype Publications, Ltd.

Crockford, S. J. 2009. A Practical Guide to In Situ Dog Remains for the Field Archaeologist. Pacific Identifications, Inc.

Foster, N. R. 1991. Intertidal Bivalves: A Guide to the Common Marine Bivalves of Alaska. University of Alaska Press.

Gilbert, B. M. 1990. Mammalian Osteology. Missouri Archaeological Society.

Gilbert, B. M., Martin, L. D., and H. G. Savage. 1996. Avian Osteology. Missouri Archaeological Society, Inc.

Hodgetts, L. M. 1999. Animal Bones and Human Society in the Late Younger Stone Age of Arctic Norway. PhD Thesis, University of Durham.

Kasper, J. C. 1980. Skeletal Identification of California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals for Archaeologists. Ethnic Technology Notes, No. 17. San Diego Museum of Man.

McGowan, S. and D. M. Bengtson. 1997. Rangifer tarandus Skeleton Lab Manual. Manuscript on File, ACZ.

Mohl, J. n.d. Key to Skeletons of Arctic Mammals. Unpublished document.

Morrow, J. E. 1979. Preliminary Keys to Otoliths of Some Adult Fishes of the Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and Beaufort SeaNOAA Technical Report NMFS Circular 420.

Post, L. Articulations of a Porpoise Skeleton: A Step-by-Step Guide to Assembling Small Whale Skeletons. Bone Building Books, Vol. 1.

Post, L. The Sperm Whale Engineering Manual. Bone Building Books, Vol. 2.

Post, L. The Whale Building Book: A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing and Assembling Medium-sized Whale Skeletons. Bone Building Books, Vol. 3.

Post, L. Pinniped Projects: Articulating Seal and Sea Lion SkeletonsBone Building Books, Vol. 4.

Post, L. The Bird Building Book: A Manual for Preparing Bird Skeletons with a Bone Identification Guide. Bone Building Books, Vol. 5.

Post, L. The Moose Manual: How to Prepare and Articulate Large Hoofed Mammal Skeletons. Bone Building Books, Vol. 6.

Post, L. Building Bear Bones: A Guide to Preparing and Assembling a Bear Skeleton. Bone Building Books, Vol. 7.

Post, L. Canine Construction: A Guide to Preparing and Assembling a Wolf Skeleton. Bone Building Books, Vol. 8.

Post, L. The Small Mammal Manual Manuscript: A Step-by-Step Guide to Preparing and Articulating Small MammalsBone Building Books, Vol. 9.

Post, L. 2014. Bone Guide to Selected Land Mammals of the Northwestern States.          [Badger, Beaver (Mountain & North American), Black Bear, Black-tailed Deer, Fisher, Fox (Red & Gray), Gray Squirrel, Hoary Marmot, Lynx, Mink, Muskrat, Nutria, Opossum, Pine Marten, Porcupine, Prairie Dog, Rabbits (Whitetail Jackrabbit & Eastern Cottontail), Raccoon, River Otter, Skunk (Spotted & Striped), Short-tailed Weasel, Wolf, Wolverine, Woodchuck, Wood Bison, Wood Rat]

Rojo, A. L. 1991. Dictionary of Evolutionary Fish Osteology. CRC Press.

Schmid, E. 1972. Atlas of Animal Bones: For Prehistorians, Archaeologists and Quaternary Geologists. Elsevier Publishing Company.

Smith, G. S. 1979. Mammalian zooarchaeology, Alaska: A manual for identifying and analyzing mammal bones from archaeological sites in Alaska. NPS Cooperative Park Studies Unit and University of Alaska.




Below I have listed some books that contain a few helpful drawings… I’ve specified the useful pages:

Bensley, B. A. 1910. Practical Anatomy of the Rabbit: An Elementary Laboratory Textbook in Mammalian Anatomy. The University of Toronto Press.     [pp. 69, 72, 76, 80, 84, 99, 100, 101, 104, 106, 107, 108]

Tinker, S. W. 1988. Whales of the World. E. J. Brill: Leiden.     [pp. 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, 48]

(more to come!)

8 thoughts on “Osteological Manuals

  1. Hi! Please let me know if there is there a way that I could post a photo of a deer astragalus on this web page? Thanks!

    • I’ve been thinking about starting up a section for photos (I have a bunch too, but not of deer). If you want to send an email with it attached to “akzooarch-l@lists.uaa.alaska.edu” (that’s the listserv for the Alaska Consortium of Zooarchaeologists), I can grab it from there, and also a whole other bunch of people could see it too. thanks!

    • It’s currently gray lit, although the Alaska Consortium of Zooarchaeologists has been discussing publishing it. Let me email some people and I’ll get back to you (hopefully with a pdf)!

    • I recently spoke with Sarah McGowan, and she told me that she’s working on getting the manual into a modern publishing format (it was developed in Corel Draw on a Windows 95 platform and saved to zip disks). She expects to be done sometime this upcoming summer (2016).

  2. Hi,

    Where would I be able to get a copy of this manual please? Any ideas? I can find it in a library but that seems to be about it.

    Balkwill, D., Cumbaa, S. L., 1992. A guide to the identification of postcranial bones of Bos taurus and Bison bison. Syllogeus, No. 71. Canadian Museum of Nature.

    Thanks in advance!

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