Age Estimation in the Living: Osteology and Age Estimation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Age can be estimated from the skeleton in both deceased and living individuals. During development age is typically estimated via assessment of the appearance, changing morphology, and fusion of ossification centers. These events have a very well-documented developmental chronology and are assessed via a combination of morphological and metric techniques. Once adulthood is reached age estimation becomes more challenging, but is still possible from a variety of joint areas throughout the skeleton including the pubic symphysis, auricular surface, cranial sutures, and sternal rib ends. This form of age assessment relies on the degenerative changes that occur at these areas of the skeleton and is less precise than age estimation in the juvenile. This chapter will consider the primary methods of age assessment from the juvenile and adult skeleton.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationSecond Edition
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128000557
ISBN (Print)9780128000342
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Adult
  • Age estimation
  • Auricular surface
  • Bone
  • Cranial suture
  • Juvenile
  • Ossification
  • Pubic symphysis
  • Skeletal age
  • Skeleton
  • Sternal rib end

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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