Other Articles
January 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, The School of Medicine of the Division of Biological Sciences, University of Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1940;59(1):107-111. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1940.01990120109011

It has long been taken for granted that the weight of the bony and cartilaginous skeleton at birth comprises from 15 to 20 per cent1 of the body weight. About a year ago it was found, on careful dissection, that the weight of the skeleton of an early and of a full term fetus approximated more nearly 10 per cent of the body weight. Recently this observation has been confirmed by the results of examination of three human fetuses weighing 530, 2,060 and 3,140 Gm. From these results have been determined the weight relation of cartilage to bone and of skeleton to body weight and the chemical composition of the skeletal components of the fetus.

The freeing of bone and cartilage from the other body tissues becomes more difficult as the fetus approaches term. In the very small fetus the bones and, to some extent, the cartilage were cleaned

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