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Skeletal anatomy

This newspaper carried a picture (July 26) of the skeletal anatomy of a species said to be over 500,000 years old, yet it was not mentioned what type of mammal the skeleton belonged to.

While examining the structure of the species, I could not help but chuckle in the way it was assembled. Museum displays of skeletons are often assembled incorrectly.

I observed, from my study of the anatomy, that the skeleton was very much like that of a dog, or a similar species, for a number of reasons.

The scapula (shoulder blade) is shorter than the humerus (upper arm). The pelvis is too steep. The shoulder blades project too high; the angle at the point of the shoulder is excessive and the top-line is not level. The number of ribs is less than the original, as can be seen from the picture.

All mammals have 26 ribs in all (both sides), attached to the sternum, except for the last four ribs that are held in position by muscles of the costal arch. When counting the ribs in the picture, there are 11 on one side, only two of which, instead of four, on both sides, are held by muscles.

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