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HSP3UC - Fill in the Blank - Forensic
What do Forensic Anthropologists
and Detectives have in Common?
Forensic anthropology is a special subfield of
(the study of human remains) that
involves applying _________________________and techniques in archaeology to solving criminal cases.
When human remains or a suspected burial are found, forensic anthropologists are
called upon to gather information from the bones and their recovery context to
determine who died, how they died, and how long ago they died. Forensic
anthropologists specialize in analyzing hard tissues such as _________. With their
training in _________________, they are also knowledgeable about excavating buried
remains and meticulously recording the evidence.
Reading a Skeleton
A forensic anthropologist can read the evidence in a ______________ like you read a
book. The techniques they use to answer questions in criminal cases can be applied
to skeletons of any age, modern or_____________. The _________________________and
development in bones and teeth provide information about whether the remains
represent a child or adult. The shape of ___________________provides the best
evidence for the sex of the person. Abnormal changes in the shape, size and density
of bones can indicate _____________or traumas. Bones marked by
___________________injuries, such as unhealed fractures, bullet holes, or cuts, can
reflect cause of death. The trained anthropologist is able to examine skeletal remains
for clues of _____________________ For example, skull shape and dental traits differ in
individuals of African ancestry versus European ancestry. Even certain activities, diet,
and ways of life are reflected in bones and teeth.
Techniques: Leaving No Bone Unturned
Anthropologists at the National Museum of Natural History use a variety of techniques
to analyze human remains and record their observations. For example, the bones are
typically photographed and________________. Some remains may undergo
____________________or be examined with high-powered microscopes. These
techniques provide detailed information about remains without altering them while
providing a visual record. _______________________may be used to help establish
identity. This type of testing is most often used in modern forensic case work, but
____________________DNA in bones and teeth can be used to confirm relationships of
old remains with deceased or living_________________. Other chemical analyses,
such as those involving isotopes, can provide information about the age of bones and
a person’s diet.
The data gathered is studied and combined to draw conclusions about the deceased
individual. For a modern case, photos of __________________ may be superimposed
on photos of missing people to look for consistencies between the bone and fleshed
form. Even in cases where no photos exist, the face can be reconstructed based on
the underlying bone structure and known standards of facial
________________thicknesses. This is called
The hormonal and visual differences that make living males and females distinct also
create _________________________ differences between their skeletons. This "sexual
dimorphism" is most obvious in the pelvic bones and the skull. The differences in the
pelvis are largely the result of ______________________________and functional
constraints. All humans are adapted to walking on two legs, but females must also
give birth to relatively large-headed babies. These different pressures produce
structural differences between males and females that can be used to tell them apart.
The skull also displays a degree of sexual dimorphism.
Overall, males tend to have ________________skulls than
females. They also have, on average, greater muscle
development and more________________ muscle
attachments. These differences in size and robusticity can
help determine whether an individual is male or female.
Differences in size and robusticity may also be evident in
other elements. If the skull and pelvis are not available,
measurements of other bones may help determine if an
individual is male or female. However, investigators must
be cautious, as there is considerable ______________
between males and females.
Word Bank:
DNA analysis
CT scanning
Pelvic Bones
Stages of
The skull