Crystal skull....didn't want to gross you out with a real one.
Although I still have some gripes about how the online class is being managed by our "out for a break" instructor, the class itself is really fascinating. Currently we are studying how to identify the sex, age and ethnicity of a skeleton. Which ain't no easy task, apparently.
The older the individual, the more difficult it is to pinpoint with any accuracy the age, due to health, activity level, (access to health care anyone?).
You'd think it would be easy to determine sex, right? Nope. Some female skeletons could be mistaken for a male if the bones are "robust" ~ large, strong, large muscle attachments, etc. Conversly, a small man might be mistaken for a female if considered "gracile" ~ smaller, etc. The pelvis is invaluable for determining sex, but if it isn't present, then it can be pretty sketchy.
Ethnicity (or race, as they term it in our text, which seems like a very antiquated term that I don't really like, because I don't believe there are "separate races" of humans). Not surprisingly, forensic anthropologists are typically asked to determine ethnicity before sex, because different ethnic groups have different phenotypic traits (genetic expressions that are visible) that will influence the determination of the sex.
Enough of that...it's not that interesting unless you enjoy forensic shows ~ I've been told that "Bones" is a really good show to watch if you're interested in forensics. Never have watched it, but will have a look at some of the older ones on Amazon video streaming, so I can see what my friends are talking about.
Still haven't heard much from our instructor, but I did hear from one of the teacher's assistants, who finally helped me figure out how to look at my previous quizzes, which I promptly copied so that I could study them for the mid-term/final. Damn, guess I should have taken that damn IT class.
I appreciate honesty......
(the preceeding courtesy of Huffington Post)