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By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

Helen Hunt Jackson - September
The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.

John Updike, September
Learn English in September

Tuesday Night Owls - 25 May 2021 - Changes in the human skeleton due to modern life

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,353 Teacher
edited June 28 in People and Society
We read about how the human skeleton has changed over time due to modern lifestyles:


Vocabulary Top 10:

bare - not having a covering

stump - a part that remains after something has been broken off, removed, worn down, etc.; the part of an arm or leg that remains after most of it has been cut off

hind - at or near the back of something

plucky - having or showing a lot of courage or determination

malleable - capable of being stretched or bent into different shapes; capable of being easily changed or influenced

template - something that is used as an example of how to do, make, or achieve something; a shape or pattern that is used to make the same shape and pattern

inert - unable to move

enigmatic - full of mystery and difficult to understand

brawny - high muscular strength; very strong, or big muscles

pore over - to read or study (something) very carefully

Did you know that our skeletons have been changing before you read this article?
What do you think the human skeleton will look like in 100 years time?

@EDUARDO @fatimuccia @april @filauzio @Ezîza @JuJu
Post edited by Teach on


  • aprilapril Moderator Posts: 11,382 mod
    edited May 30
    Doesn’t Darwin’s Theory of evolution (The theory of evolution by natural selection) already say that if an environment changes, the traits that enhance survival in that environment will also gradually change, or evolve?
    So I think it’s obvious that our skeleton also will adapt and change gradually when the way we live is different then in the past.

    I’m surprised though that these changes will be already seen in 10 years.
    And it’s frightening to read that the children’s skeletons are becoming more and more fragile every year.
    Does it mean that children are becoming less and less healthy too?
    I’m glad though that the study mentioned that the reason is most likely because of lack of walking.
    That’s not difficult to correct, is it? Almost everybody can do that exercise easily.

    What do I think the human skeleton will look like in 100 years time?
    I hope not to be too different from now.
    In spite of the modern technology and the addiction to it, there are a lot of people who desire to go back to nature and to do more physical exercises.
    However, there are a lot of factors which influence our way of life too, for example climate warming.
    One thing is for sure, our skeleton will change anyway, whether we want it or not.

  • fatimucciafatimuccia Posts: 90 ✭✭
    Human skeleton has been changing over time due to our lifestyles and to the natural environment. With the science development and through human’s bones, we can discover people’s life in the past, how and when they died, what race they belong to and their evolution.

    When I read the article, I wasn’t surprised about the facts mentioned. I’m familiar with the fact that our bones renew it selves continuously. Hence skeletons are renewed each 10 years. I know that our jaw is different from that of the primitive man owing to the nutrition. Before, the ancient people had wide jaws because they were hinter-gatherers and their diet were based on raw meat and vegetables. They should chew and mash up every thing. In this way, they reinforced their jaws.

    Now, our jaws seem to be shrunk because we don’t chew a lot. Most of our food are soft and easy to swallow. Consequently, we may suffer form the dental crowding and crooked teeth.

    The fact that was unfamiliar for me is the growth of the “External occipital protuberance”. I’ve never known that the spike grows gradually due to our posture when we use of smartphones and tablet. We often tend to bend over them. The other discovery in Germany is the fragility of children’s bones because of lack of physical activities especially walking which is considered the most effective one.

    In 100 years’ time, I can imagine the human skeleton with surely some alterations. Perhaps some bones will change the shape due to a new habit that may appear in the future. Or our sight will be badly affected if we rely only on electronic devices that not strengthen our eye’s muscles.

    Following the advice mentioned in the article and to avoid our bone’s fragility, we should start walking 30 km a day :( For me, I would break them instead of reinforce them. For me, it’s a suicide. 😊
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 2,129 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To me it was no surprise reading that bones keep changing according to our lifestyle and posture. Our bony tissue isn't inert like it was made out of chalk but alive like any other within our body.

    It's made of two type of cells: osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The former are the cells deputed to build the bone. The latter are those devoted to break it up. They act in unison and continually. Our bones are mostly made of layers of calcium phosphate in a rather porous reticular structure.

    In this sense our skeleton is the place where all the calcium used in our metabolism processes is either stored, when in excess, or taken away when needed. Hence the continual doing-undoing of bone.

    Besides, obviously, our skeleton is our body only supporting frame. Therefore it grows and develops stronger wherever it has to counter larger weigh and pressure.

    Take for instance our erect posture. When we evolved from four-legged primates to bipedal prehistoric homos, we most probably grew ticker and more robust thigh-bones and hip-bones. Our spine's vertebrea also grew thicker and as a whole our spine assumed the characteristic back-front S-shape to allow for a better pressure resistance.

    Quite amazingly though, this skeleton evolution driven by bipedalism came with a downside for women. The enlargement of hip bones meant a restriction of the pelvis' passage which led to more difficulty in childbirth process.

    Thigh-bones thickening and slight angling also led to an increased difficulty with running for women especially again. ( That's what I recall reading in a scientific magazine ).

    I recall in my childhood scoliosis impairment was common among children due to an incorrect and protracted posture when sitting at desk long school hours. At those age our skeleton is even more malleable than in adulthood therefore our children posture is something we should keep a careful eye onto.

    Scoliosis is a spine deformity where it bends sideways. It can have several degrees of severity. At those time I was slightly affected by it. I was referred to an orthopedist who prescribed me to wear an horrific cumbersome orthopedic corset made of stiff plastic bolts and nuts.

    I immediately dug my heels in opposition to only just thinking of wearing that armour in public before my friends and schoolmates. I had just entered in my teens and eventually I found myself faced with a two-alternatives choice: either putting up with wearing it and be excluded from any kind of young sociality once and for all. Or, alternatively, hitting a swimming-pool to buckle down to swimming all out to try and get my spine back on the rails.

    I opted for the latter although at the time throwing me in a swimming pool had quite the same effect as dipping a cat in a tub.

    I don't know what the skeleton will look like in 100 years time. Maybe though, with AI replacing the human beings in virtually any activities. Insects diet replacing our current unhealthy fat-based one. Sports being mainly virtually exercised. We'll no longer need our limbs at all which will then keep regressing to much more thinner kind of.

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