Grover Krantz

Before anthropologist, Grover Krantz, lost his seven year battle with pancreatic cancer in 2002, he said to Smithsonian anthropologist, David Hunt, “I’ve been a teacher all my life and I think I might as well be a teacher after I’m dead, so why don’t I just give you my body.” When Hunt agreed, Krantz added, “But there’s one catch: You have to keep my dogs with me.”

After Krantz died, his body was shipped to the University of Tennessee’s body farm, where scientists study human decay rates to aid in forensic investigations. From there, it was to the Smithsonian where the bones of Clyde and two of Krantz’s other dogs (all had died before him) were already stored in drawers in the labyrinthine back halls of the Natural History Museum (the same place they keep the dinosaur bones) just waiting for the right time.

In 2009, Krantz’s skeleton was articulated along with the skeletons of one of his dogs, Clyde. Both are now on display in the Smithsonian’s “Written in Bone: Forensic Files of the 17th Century Chesapeake” exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History. His bones have been used to teach forensics and advanced osteology to George Washington University students.

Before and “after” Images of Grover Krantz with his Irish Wolfhound, Clyde

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