MadSci Network: Zoology

Re: What is the average length of an adult cow femur?

Area: Zoology
Posted By: Rick Huneke, D.V.M./M.P.H. Faculty, Division of Comparative Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
Date: Fri Mar 7 21:21:25 1997

Thanks for the question about the cow femur. This was a tough one since none of my books had the information. Part of the problem is there is not an average cow, so there is not an average cow femur. Some breeds of cow are small, while some bulls can be massive.

I asked my former teacher, Larry Freeman at the Virginia Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine to give me a hand with this question. This is what he had to say: I measured our cow skeleton in the lab and another one on a bovine pelvic limb set we have in the teaching collection. One femur was 18 inches and one was 17. These are close to full grown size. So, with an "n" of 2 anyway, we get 17.5 inches.

I did find an interesting site on the Web that you might be interested in viewing. Its called Growth & Structure Of Meat Animals. The Electronic Zoo also has a lot of information on all species of animals.

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