Identifying and Siding the Stylohyoid Bone for North American Artiodactyls

Author(s): Patrick Lubinski; Thomas Hale

Year: 2017


The stylohyoid is the largest bone in the hyoid complex surrounding the throat in artiodactyls. There is little published information to allow its identification to species or anatomical side. Our study examined comparative stylohoid bones in order to provide criteria for taxonomic identification, using more than 350 animals representing 13 species present in the continental United States. Based on osteometrics and discrete features, the bone can be distinguished to species for most of these through an iterative set of comparisons, but with variable degrees of confidence. For example, a bone could be sorted into the small artiodactyl group based on maximum length with 99% success (n=304), and a pronghorn specifically based on its S-shaped dorsal aspect with 99% success (n=223). Other species, like small bovids and deer, are harder to separate with confidence, but fair results are obtained with some measures (e.g., deer species can be separated using anterior end width with 72% success in a sample of 76). Our study also extracted stylohyoids in place in order to provide criteria for siding, using 29 carcasses representing 8 species, and found it can be readily sided based on a marked concavity on the lateral side.

Cite this Record

Identifying and Siding the Stylohyoid Bone for North American Artiodactyls. Patrick Lubinski, Thomas Hale. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429448)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15559