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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134455 Find in a Library
Title: Field Recovery and Analysis of Horse Skeletal Remains
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:37  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1992)  Pages:163-175
Author(s): D W Owsley; E D Roberts; E M Manning
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 13
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In response to a request from an insurance company investigating a claim relative to the death of four race and show horses, allegedly as a result of deliberate starvation, physical anthropologists of the Louisiana State University undertook the recovery and analysis of skeletal remains said to be those of the animals.
Abstract: The objectives were to determine the number and kinds of animals represented, their ages and sexes, and whether there was evidence of nutritional osteodystrophy through morphometric evaluation of bone density. The investigation began with a 1987 visit to a wooded area where the horse remains were located. The site and surrounding woods yielded a total of 395 bones. Bone preservation was good, although there was some cortex exfoliation as a result of weather exposure. The team of anthropologists determined that the skeletons were the remains of four horses. In comparisons of data derived from these skeletons with breeding records for the horses described in the insurance claim, it was established that the skeletons were those of mares, as were the insured animals, and that the relative ages of the four approximated those of the insured horses. Skeletal samples submitted for morphometric evaluation showed no evidence of nutritional osteodystrophy and thus provided no support for the contention that death had resulted from starvation. In one horse, the superior aspect of the right ascending ramus of the lower jaw below the coronoid process revealed a gunshot wound; the other skeletons showed no evidence of trauma. The case provides an example of the application of forensic osteological and physical anthropological field techniques to questions related to nonhuman remains. 5 references, 3 tables, and 5 figures (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Forensic anthropology
Index Term(s): Bone analysis; Criminal investigation; Injury investigations; Victim identification
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