Anatomical terms of location
Standard anatomical terms of location deal unambiguously with the anatomy of animals, including humans. All vertebrates have the same basic body plan – they are bilaterally symmetrical in early embryonic stages and bilaterally symmetrical in adulthood; that is, they have mirror-image left and right halves if divided down the middle. For these reasons, the basic directional terms can be considered to be those used in vertebrates. By extension, the same terms are used for many other organisms as well. While these terms are standardized within specific fields of biology, there are unavoidable, sometimes dramatic, differences between some disciplines. For example, differences in terminology remain a problem that, to some extent, still separates the terminology of human anatomy from that used in the study of various other zoological categories. Standardized anatomical and zoological terms of location have been developed based on Latin and Greek words, to enable all biological and medical scientists to delineate and communicate information about animal bodies and their component organs though the meaning of some of the terms is context-sensitive.
The vertebrates and Craniata share a substantial heritage and common structure, so many of the same terms are used for location. To avoid ambiguities this terminology is based on the anatomy of each animal in a standard way. For humans, one type of vertebrate, anatomical terms may differ from other forms of vertebrates. For one reason, this is because humans have a different neuraxis and, unlike animals that rest on four limbs, humans are considered when describing anatomy as being in the standard anatomical position, thus what is on "top" of a human is the head, whereas the "top" of a dog may be its back, the "top" of a flounder could refer to either its left or its right side. For invertebrates, standard application of locational terminology becomes difficult or debatable at best when the differences in morphology are so radical that common concepts are not homologous and do not refer to common concepts. For example, many species are not bilaterally symmetrical. In these species, terminology depends on their type of symmetry.
Because animals can change orientation with respect to their environment, because appendages like limbs and tentacles can change position with respect to the main body, positional descriptive terms need to refer to the animal as in its standard anatomical position. All descriptions are with respect to the organism in its standard anatomical position when the organism in question has appendages in another position; this helps avoid confusion in terminology. In humans, this refers to the body in a standing position with arms at the side and palms facing forward. While the universal vertebrate terminology used in veterinary medicine would work in human medicine, the human terms are thought to be too well established to be worth changing. Many anatomical terms can be combined, either to indicate a position in two axes or to indicate the direction of a movement relative to the body. For example, "anterolateral" indicates a position, both anterior and lateral to the body axis. In radiology, an X-ray image may be said to be "anteroposterior", indicating that the beam of X-rays pass from their source to patient's anterior body wall through the body to exit through posterior body wall.
There is no definite limit to the contexts in which terms may be modified to qualify each other in such combinations. The modifier term is truncated and an "o" or an "i" is added in prefixing it to the qualified term. For example, a view of an animal from an aspect at once dorsal and lateral might be called a "dorsolateral" view. Again, in describing the morphology of an organ or habitus of an animal such as many of the Platyhelminthes, one might speak of it as "dorsiventrally" flattened as opposed to bilaterally flattened animals such as ocean sunfish. Where desirable three or more terms may be agglutinated or concatenated, as in "anteriodorsolateral"; such terms sometimes used to be hyphenated. There is however little basis for any strict rule to interfere with choice of convenience in such usage. Three basic reference planes are used to describe location; the sagittal plane is a plane parallel to the sagittal suture. All other sagittal planes are parallel to it, it is known as a "longitudinal plane".
The plane is perpendicular to the ground. The median plane or midsagittal plane is in the midline of the body, divides the body into left and right portions; this passes through the head, spinal cord, and, in many animals, the tail. The term "median plane" can refer to the midsagittal plane of other structures, such as a digit; the frontal plane or coronal plane divides the body into ventral portions. For post-embryonic humans a coronal plane is vertical and a transverse plane is horizontal, but for embryos and quadrupeds a coronal plane is horizontal and a transverse plane is vertical. A longitudinal plane is any plane perpendicular to the transverse plane; the coronal plane and the sagittal plane are examples of longitudinal planes. A transverse plane known as a cross-section, divides the body into cranial and caudal portions. In human anatomy: A transverse plane is an X-Z plane, parallel to the ground, which s
The petrosquamous suture is a cranial suture between the petrous portion and the squama of the temporal bone. It forms the Koerner's septum; the petrous portion forms the medial component of the osseous margin, while the squama forms the lateral component. The anterolateral portion arises from the mesenchyme at 8 weeks of embryogenesis while the petromastoid portion develops from a cartilaginous center at 6 months of fetal development. In certain people, it can contain an emissary vein, referred to as the petrosquamosal sinus. Being aware of this anatomic variant with preoperative CT scanning can be important to prevent bleeding in certain types of otolaryngological surgeries; some authors have theorized that a persistent venous sinus reflects an arrest in embryologic development. Petrotympanic fissure This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 142 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy Diagram
The Sphenofrontal suture is the cranial suture between the sphenoid bone and the frontal bone. This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 182 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy "Anatomy diagram: 34256.000-2". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. "Anatomy diagram: 34257.000-2". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01
Forensic anthropology is the application of the anatomical science of anthropology and its various subfields, including forensic archaeology and forensic taphonomy, in a legal setting. A forensic anthropologist can assist in the identification of deceased individuals whose remains are decomposed, mutilated or otherwise unrecognizable, as might happen in a plane crash. Forensic anthropologists are instrumental to the investigation and documentation of genocide and mass graves. Along with forensic pathologists, forensic dentists, homicide investigators, forensic anthropologists testify in court as expert witnesses. Using physical markers present on a skeleton, a forensic anthropologist can determine a victim's age, sex and ancestry. In addition to identifying physical characteristics of the individual, forensic anthropologists can use skeletal abnormalities to determine cause of death, past trauma such as broken bones or medical procedures, as well as diseases such as bone cancer; the methods used to identify a person from a skeleton relies on the past contributions of various anthropologists and the study of human skeletal differences.
Through the collection of thousands of specimens and the analysis of differences within a population, estimations can be made based on physical characteristics. Through these, a set of remains can be identified; the field of forensic anthropology grew during the twentieth century into a recognized forensic specialty involving trained anthropologists as well as numerous research institutions gathering data on decomposition and the effects it can have on the skeleton. Today, forensic anthropology is a well established discipline within the forensic field. Anthropologists are called upon to investigate remains and to help identify individuals from bones when other physical characteristics which could be used to identify a body no longer exist. Forensic anthropologists work in conjunction with forensic pathologists to identify remains based on their skeletal characteristics. If the victim is not found for a lengthy period of time or has been eaten by scavengers, flesh markers used for identification would be destroyed, making normal identification difficult if not impossible.
Forensic anthropologists can provide physical characteristics of the person to input into missing person databases such as that of the National Crime Information Center in the US or INTERPOL's yellow notice database. In addition to these duties, forensic anthropologists assist in the investigation of war crimes and mass fatality investigations. Anthropologists have been tasked with helping to identify victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as plane crashes such as the Arrow Air Flight 1285 disaster and the USAir Flight 427 disaster where the flesh had been vaporized or so badly mangled that normal identification was impossible. Anthropologists have helped identify victims of genocide in countries around the world long after the actual event. War crimes anthropologists have helped investigate include the Rwandan Genocide and the Srebrenica Genocide. Organizations such as the Forensic Anthropology Society of Europe, the British Association for Forensic Anthropology, the American Society of Forensic Anthropologists continue to provide guidelines for the improvement of forensic anthropology and the development of standards within the discipline.
The use of anthropology in the forensic investigation of remains grew out of the recognition of anthropology as a distinct scientific discipline and the growth of physical anthropology. The field of anthropology began in the United States and struggled to obtain recognition as a legitimate science during the early years of the twentieth century. Earnest Hooton pioneered the field of physical anthropology and became the first physical anthropologist to hold a full-time teaching position in the United States, he was an organizing committee member of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists along with its founder Aleš Hrdlička. Hooton's students created some of the first doctoral programs in physical anthropology during the early 20th century. In addition to physical anthropology, Hooton was a proponent of criminal anthropology. Now considered a pseudoscience, criminal anthropologists believed that phrenology and physiognomy could link a person's behavior to specific physical characteristics.
The use of criminal anthropology to try to explain certain criminal behaviors arose out of the eugenics movement, popular at the time. It is because of these ideas that skeletal differences were measured in earnest leading to the development of anthropometry and the Bertillon method of skeletal measurement by Alphonse Bertillon; the study of this information helped shape anthropologists' understanding of the human skeleton and the multiple skeletal differences that can occur. Another prominent early anthropologist, Thomas Wingate Todd, was responsible for the creation of the first large collection of human skeletons in 1912. In total, Todd acquired 3,300 human skulls and skeletons, 600 anthropoid skulls and skeletons, 3,000 mammalian skulls and skeletons. Todd's contributions to the field of anthropology remain in use in the modern era and include various studies regarding suture closures on the skull and timing of teeth eruption in the mandible. Todd developed age estimates based on physical characteristics of the pubic symphysis.
Though the standards have been updated, these estimates are still used by forensic anthropologists to narrow down an age range of skeletonized remains. These early pioneers legitimized the field of anthropology, but it was not until the 1940s, with the help of Todd's student, Wilton M. Krogman, that forensic anthropology gained recognition as a legitimate subdiscipline. During the 1940s
The Sphenoparietal suture is the cranial suture between the sphenoid bone and the parietal bone. It is one of the sutures; this article incorporates text in the public domain from page 182 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy
The bregma is the anatomical point on the skull at which the coronal suture is intersected perpendicularly by the sagittal suture. The bregma is located at the intersection of the coronal suture and the sagittal suture on the superior middle portion of the calvaria, it is the point where parietal bones meet. The bregma is known as the anterior fontanelle during infancy; the anterior fontanelle closes in the first 18-36months of life. In the congenital disorder cleidocranial dysostosis, the anterior fontanelle never closes to form the bregma; the bregma is used as a reference point for stereotactic surgery of the brain. Examination of an infant includes palpating the anterior fontanelle. A sunken fontanelle indicates dehydration, whereas a tense or bulging anterior fontanelle indicates raised intracranial pressure. Bregma comes from the Greek bregma; this article incorporates text in the public domain from page 135 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy lesson1 at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman
The occipitomastoid suture is the cranial suture between the occipital bone and the mastoid portion of the temporal bone. It is continuous with the lambdoidal suture. Jugular foramen This article incorporates text in the public domain from page 183 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy "Anatomy diagram: 34256.000-2". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. "Anatomy diagram: 34257.000-1". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. "Anatomy diagram: 34257.000-2". Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator. Elsevier. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01