Zedda, Marco and Lepore, Gianluca and Manca, Paolo and Chisu, Valentina and Farina, Vittorio (2008) Comparative bone histology of adult horses (Equus caballus) and cows (Bos taurus). Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia, Vol. 37 (6), p. 442-445. eISSN 1439-0264. Article.
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Bone microstructure of domestic herbivores is still not completely understood. Indeed, works focused on the bone histology of numerous Mammalian species frequently led to misunderstandings because of the high number of variations such as the kind of bone, section orientation, species, breed and age. Moreover, attempts to identify the species in archaeozoological studies by a mere qualitative approach have not been encouraging and in recent years quantitative methods, based on image processing and statistical analysis, have appeared. The present study was undertaken to determine whether morphometrical and morphological differences exist in the compact bone structure of the femur and humerus between horses and cows. Measurements such as area, perimeter, minimum and maximum diameter of osteons and Haversian canals as well as the osteonal density were carried out on cross sections of eight humeri and eight femurs of the two herbivores investigated. In agreement with other authors, the qualitative investigation confirmed that the compact bone of horses and cows can be classified as dense Haversian tissue. Osteons of the horse were more numerous and composed of a higher number of well-defined lamellae when compared with the cow. Diameter, perimeter and area of osteons and Haversian canals were always higher in horses than in cows and this pattern could be related to the different locomotor behaviour of these animals.
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