The pattern of bone fusion in the equine metacarpus and metatarsus



  • 1 The order of bony fusion in the metacarpus and metatarsus of the modern Equidae has been investigated in a series of fifty-one specimens.
  • 2 Osseous fusion of the metacarpals and metatarsals frequently occurs without the formation of pathological exostoses. This process, although common in domesticated horses, does not invariably occur with advancing age, and it cannot always be distinguished from the final results of “splints”.
  • 3 Fusion of a metacarpal precedes fusion of the corresponding metatarsal.
  • 4 Fusion of the second and fourth metacarpals and metatarsals generally follows a preaxial to postaxial sequence.