Posted: May 1st, 2022

discussion — skeletal and muscular systems


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How Castration And Opera Changed The Skeleton Of 19th Century Singer Pacchierotti (Links to an external site.)
Forbes, June 28, 2016

The article above is based on this article in Nature (Links to an external site.). The Nature article is meant for scientific professionals but it is still fairly readable and there are good photos. I highly recommend you have a look at it! Also, in case you are wondering what a castrato opera singer sounds like, check out this YouTube video of the last recorded castrato (Links to an external site.), Allesandro Moreschi.

For your initial post, you should be using your textbook and the articles linked above as your primary sources to answer the questions below. The purpose of this first post is to apply the information that you’re practicing from your learning objectives. Later, in the comments, I will expect you to do a bit of research online and support your comments with evidence, but in your initial post please stick to your textbook and the article(s).

In your first post, please address each of the following questions:

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  • The singer in the story whose skeleton was exhumed had “delayed fusion of the long bones of the legs”. Which bones are these? What structures fuse at puberty in our long bones, and why might the singer’s bones have failed to fuse?
  • The researchers noted several places where the structure of the singer’s bones gave evidence of his occupation due to the stress his muscular activity placed on his bones during his life. For instance, the attachment points of the triceps brachii were very prominent. To what bones does the triceps brachii attach? For what body movement is the triceps brachii a prime mover? What is its antagonist?
  • Imagine that many decades from now, scientists exhume the skeleton of a famous soccer player. What muscles does a soccer player use most often in kicking the ball? What body movements do these muscles produce? Which bones might show the traces of this activity?
  • What questions or observations came up as you read the articles, or what did you find most interesting?

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