Q:

What parts of the body keep growing as a person ages?

A:

Quick Answer

There is evidence that the cranial bones, pelvic bones and ear cartilage continue to grow into adulthood. It is believed that all other body parts stop growing when one reaches maturity.

Continue Reading
What parts of the body keep growing as a person ages?
Credit: hilmi_m E+ Getty Images

Full Answer

According to The Guardian, multiple studies have confirmed that ears, which are largely made up of cartilage, continue to grow well into old age. While continued ear growth occurs in both men and women, men's ears are significantly larger on average than women's ears. The rate of growth overall is estimated at about a half-inch during a 50-year period.

The sagging appearance of the face as people age was once thought to be solely due to the sagging of the soft tissue structures of the face, namely skin, cartilage and other connective tissues. According to Duke University, research has shown that the bones of the face continue to grow as human beings age and that this may be the cause of some of the facial changes related to aging. This phenomenon presents itself to a greater degree in women than in men.

Other research indicates that the body continues to grow wider even after the skeleton has stopped growing taller. According to the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, the bones of the pelvis, or hip bone, continue to grow into old age as well. The average growth between the ages of 20 and 79 was observed to be about 1 inch.

Learn more about Human Anatomy

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the difference between male and female body parts?

    A:

    The physical differences between men and women are apparent in the size of various body parts, the existence of various body parts and how body parts function, explains LiveScience. Most body parts are different between the sexes for reproductive purposes, including breasts; pitch of voice; body hair; skin pigmentation; and fat deposits.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What parts of the human body never stop growing?

    A:

    Italian scientists have confirmed that the parts of the body that consist of cartilage continue to grow until the day of death. This includes one's nose and ears. Earlobes contain cartilage but also elongate due to gravitational force.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is pepsin secreted in its inactive form?

    A:

    Pepsin is secreted in its inactive form, pepsinogen, because it is a powerful agent for breaking down proteins and thus poses a risk both to unprotected parts of the body and itself. Pepsin is a protein compound, and laboratory samples of the enzyme must be kept cold to prevent self-digestion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the parasagittal plane?

    A:

    According to About.com, a parasagittal plane is a sagittal plane, or lateral line, running through a body that divides the body into left and right regions of unequal parts. A median, or midsagittal, plane is a sagittal plane that divides a body into equal left and right parts.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore