Osteology of the White-Tailed Deer
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology
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Because of the absence of a comprehensive description of the osseous anatomy of the white-tailed deer, this study was undertaken. The external morphology of each bone is described utilizing the current nomenclature presented in Nomina Anatomica Veterinaria. Bones obtained from five male and five female deer were studied. The skull is described as a whole and its features are characterized as seen from several views. Bones of the vertebral column are considered in regions with bones and features not characteristic of the series presented individually. The components of the appendicular skeleton are presented individually. This thesis confirms the presence of a unique facial vacuity on the facial portion of the skull, a first carpal bone and vestigial second and fifth metacarpal bones. The results report the presence of a single os cordis and distal sesamoid bones the presence of which had not been previously recorded. The condition of the fibula was examined and its variable status is reported. Both the written description and the drawings should be useful to law enforcement officials and archeologists in identifying bones as those of the white-tailed deer. Appendix B contains the pen-and-ink drawings.