Forensic anthropologists are tasked with the responsibility of identifying human remains in a forensic context. This includes differentiating between human and non-human osteological remains, and further determining a species-specific identification when presented with nonhuman material. Previous research has provided manuals that are typically limited to one class of animal and includes either photographs or descriptions of cranial or post-cranial skeletal elements. Further, the available resources generally cover a limited number of species from Florida#s diverse habitat. Therefore, the intent of this thesis was to compile a comprehensive comparative osteological guide of local Florida species that addressed both cranial and postcranial skeletal elements. The first aspect of this research was to identify the most common Florida species typically analyzed in a medicolegal context. At the same time, represented examples were identified at the class level for birds, reptiles, and marine mammals. Next, the analysis consisted of detailed photographic documentation of cranial and post-cranial skeletal elements at three collections. The Anthropology Department teaching lab at UCF and the Biology Department Vertebrate Collection at UCF as well as the University of Florida#s Zooarchaeology Comparative Collection. The images were then edited to highlight the most diagnostic features exhibited among the different taxonomic families. These results were then complied into a series of guidelines to aid in a family and species-specific identification to be used during an investigation when presented with a whole skeleton, a single skeletal element, or fragmentary remains.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Dewey, Jennifer, "Survey of Comparative Human and Non-human Osteology: Common Florida Species" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1526.