“What’s an Osteologist?” you may ask. I know I did. An Osteologist is someone who is trained and educated in the branch of anatomy that studies the structure and function of bones. After 900 long years, this little anomalous skull was well overdue for an appointment. After all, bones were all that was left of him, all he had left to tell his story – and just part of his skull.
The journey to the appointment was an uneventful one, but traveling with this special skull has its own issues. How to you keep a one-of-a-kind, 900 year old skull safe while transporting it from place to place? I envisioned it, custom foam encased, in a sleek black briefcase handcuffed to its handler and locked with a special code that is kept in a secret bus terminal locker. I wasn’t too far off. When I asked Melanie Young, an owner of the skull, how the heck she takes it anywhere, she told me she keeps it in a locked box that appears (to the unsuspecting citizen) to be a tool box. When she does have to travel with the skull, on the rare occasion – such as a conference or to a lab for testing – the skull is kept in her possession the whole time. It’s in her car with her if she’s driving, a carry-on if she’s flying, as a roommate in the hotel, and it even gets to go out to eat with Melanie.
If you haven’t been to the Museum of Osteology – the first of its kind, by the way – you need to add it to your bucket list right now. And if you have kids that are into dinosaurs and animals – they’ll think it’s the coolest – which will make you the coolest. Check it out at www.museumofosteology.org . Located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, they have over 300 skeletons from all over the world on display and all kinds of educational exhibits. I love this quote about the museum’s purpose…
“The exploration of the form and function of the skeletal system opens the door to understanding. It is the belief of this museum that understanding and education leads to appreciation of the natural world and, ultimately, to its conservation.” – The Museum of Osteology
And that is exactly why Chase chose to have the Osteologists at the museum examine the skull – to “open the door to understanding.” The skull has never before been examined by a bone expert, and we were so curious as to what their professional opinion would be.
This anomalous skull, listed as Exhibit/Evidence # 1602SCS-001/5, spent some quality time at the museum being measured, having DNA removed, and being professionally analyzed by Osteologists with both Chase Kloetzke and Melanie Young. What were their conclusions? Chase and Melanie’s observations? Stay tuned! Read more about the Skull’s time at the Museum of Osteology here.