Classification Proposal of Sutural Bones

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Juan Silva; Claudia Araya; Samara Liberona; Pablo Otárola & Rodrigo Donoso


The sutural bones have anatomical and medico-legal importance. They are observed in the sutures of the bony head and are traditionally described as flat, supernumerary, irregular, inconstant, independent and of va- riable morphology and frequency. Currently, there is no sin- gle classification of these bones that incorporates all the categories described in the literature. The objective of this work was to propose an updated classification of these elements, based on an exhaustive bibliographic review and the analysis of the skulls of Chilean individuals. The sample used corresponds to 113 sutural bones present in 12 dry skulls of Chilean adults. The classification considers its location on the head (skull or face), its embryonic origin, its relationship to a fontanelle, its shape, its position on the face, and its relationship to bone tables. The data obtained was recorded in a specially designed format and digital photographs were taken. As a ge- neral result, we were able to develop a complete and satisfactory classification of sutural bones proposal and with it, the bones of the sample were analyzed, showing the presence of all categories of the instrument. We were also able to verify that sutural bones were observed in all the skulls used, that male skulls present a greater number of these bones, but that in the female skulls it was possible to recognize all types of sutural bones, among other results. A type of sutural bone not previously described, the shaped point cranial sutural bone, was also evidenced. As a conclusion to this work, it is important to highlight that sutural bones present characteristics common to other structures used in forensic identification, that is, they are perennial, unique, easily observed, easily compared and great variability, for these reasons the present classification proposal allows it to be proposed as an auxiliary methodology in human identification.

KEY WORDS: Osteology; Skull; Sutural bones; Supernumerary bones; Forensic Identification.

How to cite this article

SILVA, J.; ARAYA, C. ; LIBERONA, S.; OTÁROLA, P. & DONOSO, R. Classification proposal of sutural bones. Int. J. Morphol, 39(3):766-772, 2021.