If bony remains are found, radiographs taken of the long bones may help determine if they are from a human or animal host.
Features seen on radiographs from human long bones:
(1) Patterns of trabeculae in the spongy bone from the midshaft area
(1c) A more sparse trabecular pattern with a more homogeneous appearance may be seen in bones like the radius.
(2) Often there is not a sharp line or border separating the internal aspect of the cortex from the spongy bone in the midshaft area.
Features seen on radiographs from animal long bones:
(1a) more dense or granular
(1b) more homogeneous usually without the pattern seen in human bones
(2) There is often a sharp line or border delineating the internal aspect of the cortex from the spongy bone.
(3) Small, spicule-like invaginations of cortical bone may appear to extend from the cortex into the spongy bone in the midshaft area.
(4) Nutrient canals may extend into the midshaft area.
• The rate of correct species identification may be in the order of 82-87%.
• If the radiographic examination does not clearly identify the species of origin, then guessing will often not be accurate, and an alternate method such as histologic examination should be performed.
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Specialty: Clinical Laboratory