The aim of the present study was to qualitatively and quantitatively compare the tissue reactions around four different bone substitutes used in orthopedic and craniofacial surgery. Cylinders of two bovine bone substitutes (Endobon and Bio-Oss) and two coral-derived bone substitutes (Pro Osteon 500 and Interpore 500 HA/CC) were implanted into 5-mm bur holes in rabbit tibiae. There was no difference in the amount of newly formed bone around the four biomaterials. Interpore 500 HA/CC resorbed completely, whereas the other three biomaterials did not undergo any detectable biodegradation. Bio-Oss was osseointegrated to a higher degree than the other biomaterials. Material characteristics obtained by diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectrometry analysis and energy-dispersive spectrometry did not explain the differences in biologic behavior.