Abstract

Skeletal Anatomic Reconstructionists

SkAR, Skeletal Anatomic Reconstructionists, is a project that began in 2017, and has manifested into a collaborative effort of prospective veterinary students who are fascinated with anatomy and enjoy hands-on learning. The goal of SkAR was to debride animal tissue with the aid of flesh-eating beetles, in order to clean and articulate the bones back together in a physical model. The bone models are used for teaching purposes within our Animal Science department, as well as momento's for the students who built the model to keep. Highlights of SkAR so far has been tackling the challenge of debriding animal tissue in a way that is effective, sanitary, and reasonably fast. The beginning phase of the project involved the aid of a maceration tank with heated water to self decompose the tissue. These efforts were successful, but were deemed messy and time consuming. As a proposed alternative to the maceration tank, the program invested in flesh-eating beetles to feed off the tissue, which serve as a self sufficient population of decomposers. Other important highlights of this project are students conspiring as a group to articulate the bones correctly, while using appropriate support such as drills, wires, and glue. SkAR serves as a valuable opportunity for prospective veterinary students to learn animal anatomy in a way that is challenging, physical, and creative. It is anticipated that SkAR members will have a solid foundation and understanding of animal anatomy when they begin their journey as a graduate student.

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