1.2.3 Bone Detectives

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Project 1.2.3: Bone Detectives

When we think of bones, we most often think of the way in which these hard structures support the body, how they work with muscles to produce movement and how they protect our internal organs. But the 206 bones of the human skeleton can also tell a story. The specific structure of your bones reveals information about your gender, your height, your age and even your ethnicity. These biological clues are often the first pieces of evidence scientists look to in identifying the remains of a missing person.

Specialists called forensic anthropologists are trained to analyze the secrets locked in a bone’s shape and structure and can use this information to help solve crimes, trace human origins,
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You will analyze features of bone to determine as much as you can about each person’s gender, ethnic origin, age and height. One team will be assigned Skeleton A and one team will be assigned Skeleton B. Make sure that you are only working on the bones that belong to your assigned skeleton.
6. Obtain a Student Data Sheet from your teacher. Write “Skeleton A” or “Skeleton B” on the top of your data sheet in the box provided.
7. Divide your team into four groups. Each group will begin at one of the four bone stations.
8. Bring your Maniken® with you to each station.
9. Rotate through the four bone identification stations for your skeleton and complete your analysis. At each station, you will be asked to complete both visual comparison exercises as well as metric measurements. Determine which bone you are analyzing and locate the appropriate data tables on your Student Data Sheet. NOTE: As you are only looking at four bones, you will not use all of the data tables displayed on the Student Data Sheet.
10. At each bone station, complete the following items. Along the way you will encounter many terms for bones or for markings on bones that you may not have heard before. Use the laminated photographs and your knowledge of directional terms to help decipher these clues and complete each step of the analysis.
Use the laminated Ward’s instruction card, laminated photographs, and tools at each station to complete the observations or measurements

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