Georgia O'Keeffe, Red Hills & Bones


Biology 453

Amniote Skeleton Photos


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Cat (Eutherian) & Opossum (Metatherian) Skeletons

Cat skeleton lateral view

Opossum Skeleton

Cat hind limb

Opossum - note the epipubic bones on pelvis and the tiny "chevron" bones enclosing the hemal canals on the caudal vertebrae.

Cat - pectoral girdle showing the "wired" in place, tiny clavicles. Cat clavicles are suspended in muscle tissue normally.

Opossum - pectoral girdle with large clavicles

Cat cervical vertebrae

Cat thoracic vertebrae

Cat lumbar & sacral vertebrae

Porqupine sacral vert. - dorsal view at left, ventral view at right.

Cat caudal vertebrae have very tiny hemal arches along the first part of the tail.


Opossum caudal vertebrae have hemal arches that sit ~ between the vertebrae along the ventral side.

Human Skeleton

Human vertebrae - showing atlas, axis above, thoracic vertebrae in lower left & lumbar vertebrae in lower right.

Human skeleton with cervical vertebrae & hyoid arch 

Human clavicle & scapula in position with the humerus.

Human scapulae (lateral view on the left & medial view on the right). Identify the scapular spine, acromion process & coracoid process.

Human sacrum & caudal vertebrae

Human hand & foot

Misc. Porqupine Bones (Eutherian)

Cervical vertebrae - lower left are the atlas & axis (it's odontoid process is broken off, but note the large neural spine). The other cervicals show their transverse foramina & are facing anteriorly.

Thoracic vertebrae - look for the rib attachments on the transverse processes & centrum (not always easily visible on these small vertebrae). The anterior sides of these vert. are facing left.

Lumbar vertebrae - larger centra & no rib attachments. Anterior surfaces of all vertebrae face forward or to the left. Find the pre & post=zygapophyses.

Caudal Vertebrae have tiny neural canals, reduced neural spines & transverse processes, reduced zygapophyses. No hemal canals remain attached, although they would have been present in these vert.

Front leg bones - scapula (medial surface, so spine is hidden), clavicles, humerus, radius & ulna.

HInd leg bones - "innominate", femur, patella (kneecap), tibia, fibula, a few tarsals & phalanges.

Marine Adaptations

Dolphin front limb - anterior (lateral) view

Dolphin front limb - posterior (medial) view

Dolphin Vertebrae - The upper vertebra is from the lumbar region & the lower, narrow one is a cervical. Whales reduce the length of the neck & limit neck movement.

A large seal scaula on the left & an ungulate scapula on the right.

Harbor Seal - juvenile's forelimb

Harbor Seal - juvenile's hindlimb

Harbor Seal - humerus (left) & femur (right) anterior views

Harbor Seal - humerus (left) & femur (right) posterior views

Flight Adaptations - Bats

Megachiroptera - Bat Wing

Close - up of that wing to show the reduced ulna at the elbow.

Cursorial (Running) Adaptations of Large Ungulates

Springbok pelvic girdle - ventral view with the ileum bones at the top, ischium at the bottom & the pubic bones meeting in the midline.

Miscellaneous ulnas - lowest from a seal, largest is human & uppor ones show the reduction typical of cursorial adaptions.

Anterior views of a small ungulate (springbok) femur (left) & humerus (right).

Horse radius & ulna - note enlargement of radius & fusion of ulna to radius that strengthens the leg & prevents rotation of the foot.

Horse tibia

Horse & deer metacarpals - posterior views. The deer metacarpal (right) is made by the fusion of digits 2 & 3 & will connect to two toes. The large horse metacarpal is from digit 3, but you can see the reduced, # 2 & #4 metacarpals along either side of # 3.

Horse phalanges, the terminal phalange in enlarged to form the support for the hoof.

Atlas - 1st cervical vertebra of large ungulate, anterior view.

Axis - 2nd cervical vertebra of large ungulate, lateral view.

Ungulate Cervicals - left anterior & right posterior views

Lumbar vertebrae with long transverse processes.

Lateral view of a thoracic vertebrae from a large ungulate. Locate the attachment points for the ribs on the lateral part of the central & transverse processes. Find the pre-zygapophyses.

Thoracic vertebae of a large ungulate, posterior view showing the interlocking post- zygapophyses.

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