Category Archives: anatomy

Plantigrade animals

I was browsing through the dictionary the other day with a friend, as people do, and we learned about something that bears and humans have in common. I had just bought a 1934 edition of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, a lovely little book with a soft leather cover, gilt-edged leaves, and a ribbon for marking… Read More »

The seahorse in your brain

I knew about the hippocampus in the brain, but until I started reading The Darwinian Tourist: Viewing the World Through Evolutionary Eyes, by Christopher Wills (find in library), I didn’t know that seahorses are in the genus Hippocampus. One of the things I’m enjoying about Wills’s excellent book is that he usually lists the scientific names of the… Read More »

On poppies, poop, and newborn babies

In honor of the recent birth of my second grandchild, I thought I’d look at some words related to newborns. Here are a few with interesting stories. Fontanelle: A fontanelle is a gap in the skull of a newborn where the bones haven’t yet grown together. A newborn’s head features several fontanelles in various locations, but the big,… Read More »

Armies of finger bones

I recently finished an editing assignment that had to do with the bones and musculature of the hand. The bones of the fingers (and the toes, as it turns out) are collectively called the phalanges. They’re individually identified by which finger or toe they belong to and by their position. The proximal phalanx is the first one out… Read More »