Spheno-occipital synchondrosis fusion in modern Americans

Natalie R. Shirley, Richard L. Jantz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


This study examines spheno-occipital synchondrosis fusion in the modern American population and presents age ranges for forensic use. The sample includes 162 modern individuals aged 5-25years. The basilar synchondrosis was scored as open, closing, or closed via direct inspection of the ectocranial site of the suture. Transition analysis was used to determine the average ages at which an individual transitions from unfused to fusing and from fusing to fused. The maximum likelihood estimates from the transition analysis indicate that females are most likely to transition from open to closing at 11.4years and males at 16.5years. Females transition from closing to closed at 13.7years and males at 17.4years. The probability distributions associated with these maximum likelihood estimates were used to derive age ranges for age estimation purposes. These results reflect sexual dimorphism in basilar synchondrosis fusion and agree approximately with average age at pubertal onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-585
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011


  • Age estimation
  • Basilar suture
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Forensic science
  • Skeletal maturation
  • Spheno-occipital synchondrosis
  • Transition analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Genetics


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