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 journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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