Ray Wilhite, MS, PhD

Dr. D. Ray Wilhite became the Anatomy Laboratory Coordinator at the College of Veterinary Medicine in Spring, 2008. Dr. Wilhite received his B.S. degree in Geology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1995. He receive a Master of Geology degree from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah in 1999, then continued his research in Geology and completed his Ph.D. degree in Vertebrate Paleontology from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 2003. Before coming to Auburn, Dr. Wilhite taught Historical Geology during Spring and Summer of 2003 as well as Veterinary Anatomy and Histology from 2003-2008 at LSU. While teaching at LSU Dr. Wilhite received the 2007 Teacher of the Year Award (given by the Class of 2010) and awarded the Carl J. Norden Distinguished Teacher Award in 2003.  Dr. Wilhite works diligently to improve and enhance our Anatomy Laboratory giving first year veterinary students a firm foundation base in anatomy as they continue their career in veterinary medicine.

Research Interests

My research interests include sauropod dinosaur limb biomechanics and the use of three-dimensional modeling to reconstruct the appendicular skeleton of sauropod dinosaurs.  Of particular interest is the nature of articular cartilage in sauropod dinosaurs.  I am currently focusing on the nature of hyaline cartilage in mammals, crocodilians and birds.  This information will be used to attempt to reconstruct the cartilaginous portion of sauropod limb joints.  I am also involved in work on crocodilian musculoskeletal anatomy.

I am currently working on three-dimensional reconstructions of the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves in the equine forelimb and hind limb.

The gross anatomy lab is used by many classes and researchers here at the University.  I have had the privilege to assist in many of these projects.

Selected Publications

Bonnan B, Wilhite R, Sandrik J, and Elsey R.  Differential limb scaling in the American Alligator (alligator mississippiensis) and its implications for archosaur locomotion evolution.  Anatomical Record 292(3), 2009.  

Wilhite R.  Morphological variation in the appendicular skeleton of North American Upper Jurassic sauropods.  Thunder Lizards.  Indiana University Press, pp. 268-301, 2005.

Wilhite R.  Scanning and digitizing fossil and extant skeletal elements for three-dimensional applications.  Paleontologia Electronica, Volume 5, Issue 2, 2003: http://palaeo-electronica.org/2002_2/scan/issue2_02.htm.

Wilhite R.  The use of three-dimensional digitized elements to examine forelimb morphology and articulation in North American Jurassic sauropods. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 22(3):119A, 2002.

Wilhite R.  An alternative method for the three-dimensional visualization of large vertebrate fossils.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 21(3):98A, 2001.

Wilhite R and Curtice BD.  Ontogenetic variation in sauropod dinosaurs.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 18(3):86A, 1998.

Curtice BD and Wilhite R.  A statistical analysis of sauropod limb elements.  Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 17(3):41A, 1997.

Curtice BD and Wilhite R.  A re-evaluation of the Dry Mesa Quarry sauropod fauna with a description of new juvenile sauropod elements. Geology and Resources of the Paradox Basin.  Special Symposium, Utah Geological Association & Four Corners Geological Society, Guidebook 25, pp. 325-338, 1996.