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This is the most comprehensive approach ever made to the human skeleton as a biological entity. It provides a holistic view, from the molecular and cellular level up to functional gross anatomy. The book synthesizes the latest research in a wide range of fields, including forensics, anthropology, cell biology, orthopedics, biomechanics, functional anatomy, and paleontology. Throughout the book the skeleton’s functional and dynamic aspects are emphasized.
The first part of the book focuses on bone as living tissue: its composition, formation, growth and remodeling capabilities, and mechanical properties. The second part examines individual bones in the human body, combining strictly anatomical information with discussion of the major functions of each body section. For example, the chapter describing the axial skeleton is paired with one on the mechanics of breathing. The final part of the book surveys the archaeological and forensic applications of skeletal biology, including the estimation of age, sex, race, and stature; the effects of fracture and pathology on bone; and the modes of reconstructing skeletal remains. Elegant, detailed illustrations of the individual bones from several views and of the regions of the skeleton enhance the text.