Technical note: equine skeletal preservation techniques to enhance teaching effectiveness.

E. A. Greene, K. R. Smith, J. S. Pendergraft, R. H. Raub, M. J. Arns

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


When the decision was made to euthanatize an acutely laminitic Thoroughbred broodmare, graduate students from the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry reconstructed the skeleton for use as a teaching tool. The reproductive and gastrointestinal tracts were removed and preserved in formalin. The hide, muscle, tendons, ligaments, and organs were removed, and the bones were boiled in water for > or = 48 h to remove all remaining tissue. After boiling, the bones were soaked in gasoline to remove fat from the marrow cavities and then soaked in a bleach/detergent mixture as a final cleaning step. The bones were allowed to dry for several weeks, then a semi-gloss clear lacquer was applied to aid in preservation. The bones were connected with 17-gauge wire and supported by two 1.91-cm galvanized steel rods on a mobile platform. The vertebral column was aligned on flexible copper tube with a 1.27-cm diameter. Additional support was provided for the head and neck by aluminum and steel rods extending from the front support. The final product is a complete, mobile skeleton that will be used as a teaching aid in equine classes. The skeleton serves a function for all levels of the cognitive learning domain. Examples of applications include memorization, identification, and location of bones; use in case studies for synthesis and demonstration of brainstorming efforts; and evaluation of joint ailments for more advanced levels of learning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2270-2274
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics

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