Friendly Anatomy: Bovine Skeletal System

Aspiring veterinarians, ranch hands, and anyone interested in the animal sciences will fall in love with this foundational course. Successfully achieving its stated goal, this course does an excellent job of teaching the cow skeletal system in a friendly, unintimidating manner. 

The course is divided into 13 lessons. Lessons 1 and 2 introduce the various planes of dissection utilized in anatomy, and general bone information including types and parts of bones, bone tissue, and bone joints. The following episodes detail the bones by location. Beginning with the Rear Limb, lessons 3-5 cover the femur and patella; the tibia and fibula; and the tarsals, metatarsals, and phalanges. Lessons 6-8 are organized by the Forelimb, and explain the scapula; the humerus, radius and ulna; and the carpals, metacarpals, and phalanges. The last section focuses on the Vertebral Column with lessons 9-12. Topically, this covers cervical vertebra; the thoracic vertebra and ribs; the lumbar, sacral and caudal vertebra; the pelvis; and the skull and mandible.

The DVDs are essential in this course and provides 4.5 hours of teaching instruction throughout the 8 DVDs. Using up-close photographs, videography, and easy to understand language, this course takes a topic that can be difficult to understand and makes it accessible to students and parents alike.

The Guidebook is a required component to the DVD lessons. With 134 pages, the softcover guidebook provides instructions on how to use the course. In the beginning lesson, the guidebook provides realistic graphics of the planes of dissection and directional terms. Images provided throughout the lessons are actual photographs and realistic black and white illustrations of the bones. As students work through the lessons, it is recommended colored pencils, markers or crayons be used to color the line drawings through free design. Each lesson concludes with an Assessment. Assessment page includes a realistic image of the bone, and several identifying questions including: name of the bone, identify different structures of the bone, and surface/dissection plane (if applicable). Answers to the Assessments are in the back of the book.

A fascinating course to anyone with an interest in anatomy: animal or human. While there will be differences between skeletal structures, there are also great similarities. Frankly, I wish this course had been available in my high school days to prepare me for my RN training. One of the most challenging courses I faced was anatomy, where my instructor would test us by displaying numerous bones (primarily bovine) and ask us to identify the bone and structures. ~ Deanne

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