Comparative Osteology Museum
Comparative Osteology Museum And Zooarchaeology Laboratory
The University of Wyoming, Department of Anthropology, Comparative Osteology Museum and its collections are administered by the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist, as part of its statutory association and the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Department of Anthropology
. The museum is primarily designed to provide comparative osteological specimens to zooarchaeologists working in Wyoming and the surrounding region. The collection is also used for teaching archaeology and zoology classes at the University of Wyoming and wildlife forensics by several wildlife agencies, including the Wyoming Game and Fish Department
, Colorado Division of Wildlife
, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
, and others. There have also been many osteological studies
conducted on the various specimens in the collection.
Most specimens in the collection are from this region (northern Plains and Rocky Mountains), but as time and opportunity arise, specimens from other regions are accessioned. Presently (2009) the collection has over 2,400 mammal, reptile, amphibian, and fish specimens (ranging from a single element to the entire skeleton) and over 740 bird specimens (almost all represented by entire skeletons). The collection is under the care and direction of Dr. Danny N. Walker, RPA, Wyoming Assistant State Archaeologist.
Dr. Walker is a native of Kansas, graduating from Fort Hays Kansas State College in 1970, with a degree in geology. While there, he worked as a museum assistant at the Sternberg Memorial Museum. He moved to Wyoming in 1970, working as the museum curator at the University of Wyoming Geology Museum. In 1973, he began a graduate degree program in Anthropology, graduating with a Master's of Arts in 1975. He also worked as an archaeological crew foreman for the Wyoming State Archaeologist's Office while working on that degree. In 1975, he was promoted to Assistant State Archaeologist, a position he still holds today. In 1986, a doctorate in Zoology and Physiology was awarded to him by the University of Wyoming. He continues his education with short courses on archaeological and anthropological topics.
His primary research interests and work is in the archaeology of the Northwestern High Plains, primarily dealing with the bird and mammal remains from the archaeological sites, examining the Pleistocene and Holocene distributions of Wyoming animals, and developing data on the Late Pleistocene/Holocene paleoenvironments of North America. In recent years, his work has centered on the early Historic archaeology of Wyoming, from South Pass City State Historic Site to Fort Laramie National Historic Site. His research record can be documented by the three edited books, 59 referred publications; 29 non-referred publications; 11 book reviews; 100 oral papers presented at professional society meetings; 7 poster papers presented at professional society meetings; 56 archaeological faunal reports from research or cultural resource management projects; and 120 unpublished cultural resource management reports he has prepared, both as senior author or junior author.
Dr. Walker is a Registered Professional Archaeologist and a member of several professional organizations, including the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the Society for American Archaeology, the Plains Anthropological Conference, the Kansas Anthropological Association, the American Society of Mammalogists, the Wyoming Archeological Society, the Montana Archaeological Society the Wyoming Historical Society, Wyoming Public Employees Association, the American Quaternary Association and the Wyoming Association of Professional Archeologists. He has also served as President of the Wyoming Public Employees Association, the Fort Laramie Historical Association and Plains Anthropological Society.
Links to other Zooarchaeological sites: