Theres an Island in the Bone

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An enostosis or bone island represents a focus of mature compact cortical bone within the cancellous bone spongiosa.

Evidence Rarely Survives

Thought by some to be a tumor-like condition and by others a hamartoma, this benign lesion is probably congenital or developmental in origin and reflects failure of resorption during endochondral ossification. A bone island can be virtually diagnosed based on its characteristic clinical and radiologic features.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially. Withdrawal Policies Publication Ethics. Case Report Volume 10 Issue 4. Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7. Figure 8. Figure 9. Greenspan A. But when he was three months old, the little goat was adopted by a veterinary institute and moved to a grassy field. There he quickly improvised his own peculiar style of getting around.


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Pushing his back feet forwards, he would draw himself up until he was standing half-upright on his hind legs, and jump. The end result was somewhere between the hop of a kangaroo and a hare, though presumably not quite as majestic. Sadly the plucky goat was involved in an accident soon after his first birthday, and he died.

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But there was one final surprise lurking in his skeleton. For centuries, scientists had thought that our bones were fixed — that they grow in a predictable way, according to instructions inherited from our parents. The bones in his hips and legs were thicker than you would expect, while the ones in his ankles had been stretched out. Finally his toes and hips were abnormally angled, to accommodate a more upright posture. It relies on the fact that certain activities, such as walking on two legs, leave a predictable signature behind, such as sturdier hip bones.

The Poppy Family - There's No Blood In Bone (with lyrics)

View image of Credit: Getty Images. It began with the discovery of a male skeleton on the island of Tinian, which lies 1, miles 2,km east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, in The remains were dated to the 16th or 17th Century, and they were positively gigantic. The finding slotted in nicely with local legends of enormous ancient rulers, who had been capable of truly heroic physical feats. As other graves were discovered, it became clear that the first skeleton was no anomaly; in fact as well as fiction, Tinian and the surrounding islands had been home to a race of extraordinarily brawny men.

But where had they got their strength from?

In the case of Taga, he was buried amongst 12 imposing carved stone pillars, which would originally have supported his house. Meanwhile, a closer inspection of his bones and others has revealed that they have similar features to those from the Tonga archipelago in the South Pacific, where people do a lot of stone working and building with massive rocks.

There's an Island in the Bone

The largest such house on the island had pillars that were 16ft 5m high and weighed nearly 13 tonnes each — about as much as two full-grown African elephants. This was no mysterious race of muscular giants; the men achieved their powerful builds by sheer hard work. If, in the future, the same technique were used to piece together how people lived in , the scientists would find characteristic changes in our skeletons that reflect our modern lifestyles. View image of Credit: Alamy.


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  7. Until recently, this type of growth was thought to be extremely rare. In , when the spike was first investigated, the renowned French scientist Paul Broca complained that it even had a name at all. Feeling that something might be up, Shahar decided to investigate. Together with his colleague, he analysed over a thousand X-rays of skulls from people ranging from 18 to 86 years old. What the scientists found was striking.

    The spike was far more prevalent than they had expected, and also a lot more common in the youngest age group: one in four people aged had the growth.


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    4. Why could this be? And should we be concerned? Shahar thinks the spike explosion is down to modern technology, particularly our recent obsession with smartphones and tablets. As we hunch over them, we crane our necks and hold our heads forward.

      Evidence Rarely Survives

      This is problematic, because the average head weighs around 10 pounds 4. But as we lean forwards to pore over famous dogs on social media, our necks must strain to hold them in place. Shahar thinks the spikes form because the hunched posture creates extra pressure on the place where the neck muscles attach to the skull — and the body responds by laying down fresh layers of bone. These help the skull to cope with the extra stress, by spreading the weight over a wider area. Of course, bad posture was not invented in the 21st Century — people have always found something to hunch over.

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      One possibility is down to the sheer amount of time that we currently spend on our phones, versus how long a person would previously have spent reading.