Changes in the female pelvis (preparatory for childbirth) occur
Once at adult height, the skeleton changes little until late middle
age. With old age, the intervertebral discs thin; this, along with
osteoporosis, leads to a gradual loss in height and increased risk of
disc herniation. Loss of bone mass increases the risk of fractures,
and thoracic cage rigidity promotes breathing diﬃculties.
*For associated bone markings, see the pages indicated in the section
Developmental Aspects of the Skeleton
Fontanelles, which allow brain growth and ease birth passage, are
present in the skull at birth. Growth of the cranium a±er birth is
related to brain growth. Increase in size of the facial skeleton follows
tooth development and enlargement of nose and sinus cavities.
Te vertebral column is C shaped at birth (thoracic and sacral
curvatures are present); the secondary curvatures form when the
baby begins to li± its head and walk.
Long bones continue to grow in length until late adolescence. Te
head and torso, initially 1½ times the length of the lower limbs,
equal their length by the age of 10.
(Some questions have more than one correct answer. Select the best
answer or answers from the choices given.)
Match the bones in column B with their description in column A.
(Note that some descriptions require more than a single choice.)
connected by the
keystone bone of
keystone bone of
form the hard palate
allows the spinal cord
forms the chin
bone that “carries” the hand
the wrist bones
end shaped like a monkey wrench
articulates with the capitulum of the humerus
largest bone of this “group” is the calcaneus
Short Answer Essay Questions
Name the cranial and facial bones and compare and contrast the
functions of the cranial and facial skeletons.
How do the relative proportions of the cranium and face of a
fetus compare with those of an adult skull?
Name and diagram the normal vertebral curvatures. Which are
primary and which are secondary curvatures?
List at least two speciﬁc anatomical characteristics each for typical
cervical, thoracic, and lumbar vertebrae that would allow anyone
to identify each type correctly.
What is the function of the intervertebral discs?
Distinguish between the anulus ﬁbrosus and nucleus pulposus
regions of a disc. Which provides durability and strength? Which
provides resilience? Which part is involved in a “slipped” disc?
What is a true rib? A false rib?
Te major function of the shoulder girdle is ﬂexibility. What is
the major function of the pelvic girdle? Relate these functional
diﬀerences to anatomical diﬀerences seen in these girdles.
List three important diﬀerences between the male and female
Brieﬂy describe the anatomical characteristics and impairment of
function seen in cle± palate and hip dysplasia.
Compare a young adult skeleton to that of an extremely aged
person relative to bone mass in general and the bony structure of
the skull, thorax, and vertebral column in particular.
Peter Howell, a teaching assistant in the anatomy class, picked
up a hip bone and pretended it was a telephone. He held the big
hole in this bone right up to his ear and said, “Hello, obturator,
obturator (operator, operator).” Name the structure he was
helping the students to learn.
and Clinical Application
Justiniano worked in a poultry-packing plant where his job was
cutting open chickens and stripping out their visceral organs.
A±er work, he typed for long hours on his computer keyboard,
writing a book about his work in the plant. Soon, his wrist
Match the key terms with the bone descriptions that follow.
bone of the axial skeleton to which the pectoral girdle
markings include glenoid cavity and acromion
features include the ala, crest, and greater sciatic notch
doubly curved; acts as a shoulder strut
hip bone that articulates with the axial skeleton
the “sit-down” bone
anteriormost bone of the pelvic girdle
part of the vertebral column
Use key choices to identify the bone descriptions that follow.
articulates with the acetabulum and the tibia
forms the lateral aspect of the ankle