Reviewer: Kirk A. McCullough, BA (University of Kansas Medical Center)
Description: This book details in both text and illustrations the various aspects of developmental juvenile osteology. This follow-up to Developmental Juvenile Osteology (Academic Press, 2000) provides a book more suited to the needs of students in skeletal biology, anthropology, archaeology, and forensic science. In addition to being a more affordable book, the information is presented in a more manageable way to facilitate its use a core teaching text for the aforementioned disciplines. Compared to its parent text, this book has omitted much of the general and detailed information pertaining to the adult skeleton while retaining and, in some cases, developing the elements that made Developmental Juvenile Osteology a great resource. This change, in addition to updated content and a few new drawings, makes this an essential resource for studying the juvenile skeleton.
Purpose: The purpose is to create a more manageable and affordable book for juvenile osteology that could be used in the academic setting. From the various comments and reviews of the predecessor book, it was readily apparent that a more concise and affordable book was needed for use in the academic setting. The authors do an excellent job of fulfilling the goal of providing a book more suitable and appropriate for the student reader.
Audience: The authors do a superb job of reaching the audience students studying skeletal biology, forensic science, archaeology, and anthropology.
Features: Before jumping right into the development of the juvenile skeleton, the authors begin with a discussion about the provenance, identification, and interpretation of juvenile skeletal remains. Following this is a description of the various aspects of bone development, including different modes of formation, growth, and maturation, and a brief, general discussion of early embryologic development. Having provided the reader with a general understanding of bone development and early embryology, the authors devote the remainder of the book to describing the development of each element of the human skeleton from the early embryologic stages to final adult form. This discussion follows a logical topographic order and of note, in contrast to the previous book, includes a chapter solely devoted to dentition. As with its predecessor, this book supplies the reader with detailed and fully illustrated descriptions of bones at each critical developmental stage. By retaining all of the original illustrations of the original and providing some additional drawings, this book continues to meet the need for a wonderfully illustrated text dedicated to the juvenile human skeleton. In addition, by omitting much of the general and detailed information pertaining to the adult skeleton and restructuring the information, the authors have produced a text that is much more suitable for academic use and that allows those who need more detailed information or extensive references the ability to refer to their original text. Although the authors have done a remarkable job, my only recommendation would be to include color in some of the illustrations. There are some instances in which adding color will more adequately demonstrate what the authors are trying to describe.
Assessment: This is an invaluable reference to those training in the fields of anthropology, skeletal biology, archaeology, and forensic science. Its amazing use of detailed illustrations and descriptions satisfy the desperate need for a book dedicated solely to juvenile osteology. By providing a more manageable and affordable text, the authors have provided a solution to the problems that their previous book posed for students and have further distinguished themselves as the authors of the ultimate reference in the study of juvenile osteology.