Title

Species Differences in Artiodactyl Hyoid Bones

Presenter Information

Jenny Huilca

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Hyoid bones are small bones of the throat found beneath the lower jaws of mammals. They are robust and distinctive, but are nonetheless uncommonly reported in archaeological sites. There is little literature available at present that can facilitate element identification as well as species differentiation of hyoid bones. To address this gap, I examined 35 hyoid bones from eight important artiodactyl (hoofed mammal) species in the CWU Zooarchaeology collection and Burke Museum Mammalogy collection. The hyoid bones of bison, cattle, deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn and domestic sheep vary in length, shaft thickness, anterior and posterior morphology, and degree of shaft curvature. For example, compared to the other species, pronghorn hyoids have shafts that are thinner and less arched, as well as a much wider, anterior-curving process on the posterior end. Domesticated species seem to have thicker medial-lateral widths than their most closely related wild species. The characteristics described here are suggestive rather than deterministic, and more research as well as larger sample sizes are needed.

Poster Number

2

Faculty Mentor(s)

Patrick Lubinski

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

Species Differences in Artiodactyl Hyoid Bones

SURC Ballroom C/D

Hyoid bones are small bones of the throat found beneath the lower jaws of mammals. They are robust and distinctive, but are nonetheless uncommonly reported in archaeological sites. There is little literature available at present that can facilitate element identification as well as species differentiation of hyoid bones. To address this gap, I examined 35 hyoid bones from eight important artiodactyl (hoofed mammal) species in the CWU Zooarchaeology collection and Burke Museum Mammalogy collection. The hyoid bones of bison, cattle, deer, elk, pronghorn, bighorn and domestic sheep vary in length, shaft thickness, anterior and posterior morphology, and degree of shaft curvature. For example, compared to the other species, pronghorn hyoids have shafts that are thinner and less arched, as well as a much wider, anterior-curving process on the posterior end. Domesticated species seem to have thicker medial-lateral widths than their most closely related wild species. The characteristics described here are suggestive rather than deterministic, and more research as well as larger sample sizes are needed.