Mammalian Skeleton/ Excavation

Mammalian Skeleton/ Excavation
Follow the description and illustrations of the skeleton of a mammal on pages 626 and 656 of
Hickman et al. (2011) and the illustrations provided to learn the following bones or features:
skull; orbit, zygomatic arch, mandible, foramen magnum, external auditory meatus
vertebral column with the following differentiation;
cervical, thoracic, lumbar sacral and caudal vertebrae
pectoral girdle and pectoral appendage;
scapula; spine and glenoid fossa
ulna; olecranon process
pelvic girdle and its appendages;
pelvis made up of ilium, ischium, and pubis, acetabulum, symphysis pubis
femur with its head and greater trochanter
tarsals (bears the astragalus and calcaneus)
Excavation of a skeleton (10 points)
The first phase of this exercise will be to recover the skeleton(s) of a mammal(s) that is all that
remains of a specimen buried at the Environmental Studies Area on the CSUB campus for at
least 18 months. The specimens will be excavated by the class using shovels, trowels and
screens and brought back into the lab to clean and identify. Dress down for this activity. Your
assignment is to turn the following:
1. Determine the species of the specimen using the clues provided by the remains and the
comparative skeletons provided by the instructor. E.g.: Koala (2 points)
2. Describe some of the specific evidence you used to make your determination. This evidence
should convince your audience you have what you proposed. Include in your discussion
specific features of the bones and teeth that have led you to eliminate similar species from
consideration. E. g.: The number, size, and shape of all the teeth (incisors, canines, premolars
and molars) was identical with those of the comparative koala skeleton. (6 points)
3. Which major bones (e.g. humerus, fibula, dentary etc.) of the animal are missing? (1 point)
4. Indicate any breaks or abnormalities in major bones or skull. (E.g. the zygomatic
arch and temporal are smashed.) (1 point)