Intriguing display is all about bones
by Johnny McDonald
Nov 04, 2010 | 892 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Oddly-shaped bones such as this are part of the “Strange Bones: Curiosities of the Human Skeleton”exhibit at the Museum of Man. 
	Courtesy Photo
Oddly-shaped bones such as this are part of the “Strange Bones: Curiosities of the Human Skeleton”exhibit at the Museum of Man. Courtesy Photo
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You might say the Museum of Man in Balboa Park has pulled some skeletons out of its closet for visitors to “bone up” for an interesting process of learning.

Curator Tori Randall titled this exhibit “Strange Bones: Curiosities of the Human Skeleton” because of the manner in which bones heal themselves.

“The human skeleton is an adaptable and remarkable structure that sustains us every day,” she said. “Our bones are our foundation. They create blood cells, allow our bodies to move and store nutrients and minerals.

“Bones have the intriguing ability to reshape and modify themselves. If you break a tooth, you’re in trouble. If you break a bone it will heal itself. It’s a living tissue.”

Scheduled to run through September 2011, the exhibit will focus on strange and curious things that happen to skeletons through the course of a lifetime There are specimens of dwarfism, fusion of fractured bones as the result of abnormal healing and effects of diseases such as scurvy and syphilis

Included, too, are the results of culturally-motivated foot-binding — practiced in China until the mid 1900s — and neck rings — worn by the Kayan of Myanmar and Thailand.

Museum literature indicates that a skeleton can inform us about a person’s life long after that individual passes away. The exhibition will include an example of myositis ossificans progressive, a hereditary disease that prevents movement of connective tissues. Ligaments and tendons become as dense and rigid as the bones themselves.

Randall said the exhibits focus on the many different, strange and curious things that happen to the human skeletons throughout a lifetime. Besides the many bone specimens, there will be three full-size skeletons.

Randall said a series of related lectures have been scheduled every other month.
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