There are some great resources online for finding images of comparative material for skulls, but the postcranial skeleton tends to be quite badly represented online even for common species. I’d love to change that, but it’s a big challenge for one person.

Paramastoid process of Pig (Sus scrofa)

Paramastoid process of Pig (Sus scrofa)

That’s why I’d like to set up #bonegeeks on Twitter (and maybe on other social media as well). The way I see it, people who have access to skeletal material could easily take snaps of bits of postcrania from known species (preferably with something for scale) using their phone and share the image to Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook with the name of the species and the bone (and perhaps where the specimen is held).

With the #bonegeeks tag it should be easy to collate images and hopefully start building up a comparative collection of images to make identifications easier.

It could start with a bone of the week to get the seldom depicted bones better represented and I’m sure #bonegeeks would be willing to respond to requests if there were particular bones that someone wanted to see.

I wonder if this could work… shall we give it a go and find out? Please add your thoughts on this idea in the comments section below or on Twitter using the #bonegeeks hashtag.

Oh and here’s how the idea got started: [View the story “#bonegeeks” on Storify]

18 thoughts on “#bonegeeks

    • Awesome – I think I’ll get the ball rolling next week when I’m in our stores. Perhaps starting with the sternum of many species, since it started the idea?

  1. Heather, not sure museums can claim copyright on a likeness of a bone. Giving you access to their collections is the starting point and the terms and conditions of that access may be an issue, though.

    • Exactly – all visitors to us sign a declaration saying they will not reproduce any images taken of any specimens. The institution claims copyright on any images of any of its specimens.

      • More seriously, have you signed the declaration? If not and if you’re using your own equipment then there shouldn’t really be a legal problem (although it might not be good for internal relations…)

        • I’ll jump in: If you have taken photographs as part of your employment, then in the UK, the employer is the default owner of the copyright in those images, unless there exists an express statement to the contrary as regards either copyright assignment, or the employer licensing you to use the photographs you have taken.. In almost every other circumstance, the photographer is the copyright owner. However, exceptionally, being the copyright owner does not always give you the right to use the images in all circumstances – for example, some museums may have a condition of entry where you are deemed to have agreed you won’t use photographs taken for ‘commercial’ purposes. (I’m Jake of Jake’s Bones’s dad, but also heavily involved in issues around photographic copyright).

  2. Fab idea Paola, count me and my youngest bone collector (he’s just turned 6) in . May have to savvy up on social media though! Old dog new tricks??

  3. I think it is a good idea to do somewhere. You know I am a know nothing, but I do think this sharing should be happening for those who would benefit from the pics – a simple yes!

  4. You can count count on the Committee for the Preservation of the Stochastic Arts (Daniel Jones, Daniel Calleri, and Sharon Housinger) at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. Now Twitter will have a purpose!

  5. Pingback: Geekwars? | Zygoma

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