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Mounted skeletons as part of the osteological collection of the Oxford Museum of Natural History, Oxford, UK. (2007)

The Osteologie (from the Greek osteon = bone, logos = teaching ; bone teaching ) is the study of the structure and the diseases of the bones or of the skeletal system . Osteology is also concerned with bone formation and the comparison of skeletal systems. It is a sub-area of anthropology , zoology , archeology , paleontology and medicine or anatomy .

Osteology is an interdisciplinary subject. Scientists, doctors, engineers and representatives from other specialist areas are involved in research into healthy and pathologically altered bone tissue.

Areas of application

Areas of application in osteology are the reconstruction of organisms, identification and systematics based on certain characteristics of bones as well as research into diseases of the skeletal system:

  • Reconstruction of organisms: The bones can be used to reconstruct the organisms to a certain extent. By substituting the decomposed soft tissues of the bone through various methods , the appearance of an organism can be roughly restored. In this way, extinct animals and people can be reconstructed. This is also used in forensics , for example to identify skeletons of unknown individuals.
  • Identification: Using certain characteristics of the bones, these can be classified in the biological system. It is also possible to determine age , gender , geographical origin and diseases . This has been well researched in humans in particular.
  • Systematics: On the basis of certain characteristics of the bones, organisms can be classified in the biological systematics. This is the basis for correctly identifying them (see above).
  • Diseases of the skeletal system: In medicine, osteology, at the interface between orthopedics and endocrinology, also deals with the physiological structure of bones and the processes of bone metabolism and its diseases . Today, this task is the most important part of osteology. The main focus is on researching the causes and possible forms of therapy for diseases such as osteoporosis , osteomalacia , renal bone diseases, osteodystrophia deformans , but also less common diseases such as osteogenesis imperfecta , FOP , or hypophosphatasia . In medical osteology, the bone is not viewed as an isolated organ, but rather its interaction with other organ systems such as the muscles or the central nervous system is investigated.

See also


Web links

Wiktionary: osteology  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Osteology  - collection of images, videos and audio files