Stories from Skeletons
Skeletons serve several important functions. They protect vital organs such as the brain and heart, provide structural support for the body, and interact with muscles to move the whole body or parts of the body.
Skeletons are often bones and shells. They can be outside the body (exoskeletons), such as those of mollusks, or they can be inside the body (endoskeletons), such as our own.
Features of bones and shells such as shape and size provide hard evidence of relationships among animals that are alive today. Fossil skeletons are also the main evidence of extinct animals and their relationships.
In studies of Native Americans, skeletons are hard evidence of human diet and social interactions. They are also evidence of raw materials that were used in making tools and decorative objects.
This exhibit, featuring a variety of specimens from the VMNH collections, will be on display in the museum's Harvest Foundation Hall of Ancient Life.