Paper - The fate of the human premaxilla (1938)

From Embryology

Wood-Jones F. The fate of the human premaxilla. (1938) J Anat. 72: 462. PMID 17104714

The Fate of the Human Premaxilla

By Frederic Wood-Jones Manchester


The fate of the osseous premaxillary element in the human facial skeleton is a subject around which an extensive literature has grown up. This literature has been summarized more than once in readily accessible English publications. In 1929 the present writer dealt with the subject and in 1935 Mr Astley-Montague devoted a great deal of research to this aspect of the question, and published an exhaustive series of abstracts from the literature of all periods. In 1987, Dr Edwin Johnson published in this Journal an abstract of his investigations into the fate of the premaxillary element in the mammalian facial skeleton. Johnson’s conclusions had already been embodied in an unpublished thesis before the appearance of Astley-Montague’s papers and he had already appreciated the importance of Callender’s 1869 publication before AstleyMontague called attention to this much neglected contribution. Callender was the first to postulate that the maxillae overgrew the premaxillae on the human face. In 1914, unaware of the previous work of Callender, the present writer published as his conclusion that the human premaxilla “becomes overgrown by the facial portion of the maxilla”. From this standpoint, Johnson started his exhaustive investigation and showed, almost dramatically, how the narial margins were formed in man. He dwelt especially upon the “exclusively human” character of this portion of the facial skeleton, and gave references to the essential literature. Dr Douglas Derry’s paper (which cites no previous work) in the current issue of the Journal of Anatomy (vol. Lxxu, pt. m1, Jan. 1938, pp. 294-8), is interesting as confirming Johnson’s amply documented findings, which in turn agreed with the less precise, but identical, conclusions of the present writer in 1914 and of Callender in 1869.



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