Timing of fusion of the ischiopubic ramus from dry bone observations

TitleTiming of fusion of the ischiopubic ramus from dry bone observations
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsCardoso HFV, Campanacho V, Gomes J, Marinho L
JournalHOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology
Date Published12/2013
AbstractThere is little information about the age at which the ischiopubic ramus fuses derived from dry bone observations. This study documents the age ranges for union of the ischiopubic ramus in a sample of 148 known sex and age skeletons from Portugal, with ages ranging from birth to 20 years, using a three-stage scheme. The oldest female with an unfused ramus is 11 years old and the oldest male is 8 years old. The youngest male with a completely fused ramus is 7 years old, and the youngest female is 5 years old. Despite the relatively large sample size, partial fusion was a rare event to record as only two individuals were at this stage and these seemed relatively older than expected (12 and 14 years of age). The likely age interval for partial union of the ramus was subsequently estimated from logistic regression, for both sexes separated and combined. In the sex-pooled sample, the inter-quartile range (25th–75th percentile) for the median age of fusion is 7–11 years and the 10th–90th percentile range is 4–15 years. The scarcity of data on the age of ischiopubic fusion may be related to biases in the sample or to fusion occurring rapidly in this anatomical location. Additional studies may be required to assess the accuracy of the ages reported here, but at present this study provides the most comprehensive assessment of timing of fusion at the ischiopubic ramus from observations of dry bone specimens.