Yesterday we posted this close-up image on our Facebook page. Can you guess what it is?
Here’s the answer:
This is a longitudinal section through the distal end of a human femur showing spongy bone and the mineralized growth plate (all the marrow has been removed). Spongy bone provides strength with reduced weight compared to compact bone. When the load is changed on our bones (such as temporarily walking with a limp), the tiny beams of spongy bone can be quickly dissolved and remade in a slightly different position and orientation to preserve maximum load bearing strength. One theory is that this is the result of tiny electrical charges emitted by crystals in the bone as they are bent (a piezoelectric phenomenon) which causes specialized cells (osteoclasts and osteoblasts) to precisely remove or deposit bone. The growth plate was originally composed of cartilage when this individual was alive and growing, which allowed the bone to grow in length under the influence of growth hormone. Once the growth plates are mineralized, no further growth in length is possible.
Here’s what happens when we zoom out:
Did you know that the bones of our bodies aren’t just strong and flexible, but they’re also building and repairing themselves constantly? No bridge was ever built with girders like this! Come explore the amazing human skeleton and even view different bones under the microscope. Bones may not look very lively, but our life depends on a boney skeleton that is an engineering marvel—as you’ll learn in this fun and interactive workshop. Check out our online events calendar for more information about this and our other engaging, educational, and entertaining workshops at the Creation Museum.