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Scapular development from the neonatal period to skeletal maturity: A preliminary study

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2007
<mark>Journal</mark>International Journal of Osteoarchaeology
Issue number5
Volume17
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)451-464
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

An understanding of the basic growth rates and patterns of development for each element of the human skeleton is important for a thorough understanding and interpretation of data in all areas of skeletal research. Yet surprisingly little is known about the detailed ontogenetic development of many bones, including the scapula. With the intention of describing the changes that accompany postnatal ontogeny in the scapula and algorithms to predict sub-adult age at death, this communication examines the development of the scapula through nine measurements (3 from the glenoidal area, 4 from the body and 2 related to the spinous process) by polynomial regression. Data were collected from 31 of the individuals that comprise the Scheuer Collection, which is housed at the University of Dundee (Scotland). Four of the derived mathematical curves (scapular length, infra- and suprascapular height and spine length) displayed linear growth, whilst three (maximum length of the glenoid mass, acromial width and scapular width) were best expressed by a second-degree polynomial and two (maximum and middle diameter of the glenoidal surface) by a third-degree polynomial. All single measurements proved useful in the prediction of age at death, although derived indices proved to be of limited value. In particular, scapular width, suprascapular height and acromial width showed reliable levels of age prediction until late adolescent years. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.