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one of the membrane-covered spaces remaining at the junction of the sutures in the incompletely ossified skull of the fetus or infant. Actually there are two soft spots close together, representing gaps in the bone structure which will be filled in by bone during the normal process of growth. The anterior fontanelle is diamond shaped and lies at the junction of the frontal and parietal bones. This fontanelle usually fills in and closes between the eighth and fifteenth months of life. The posterior fontanelle lies at the junction of the occipital and parietal bones, is triangular in shape, and usually closes by the third or fourth month of life. Though these “soft spots” may appear very vulnerable, they may be touched gently without harm. Care should be exercised that they be protected from strong pressure or direct injury.
Fontanelles. From Jarvis, 2000.


(fon'tă-nel'), [TA]
One of several membranous intervals between the angles and margins of the cranial bones in the infant; they include the midline anterior and posterior fontanelles, and the paired sphenoidal and mastoid fontanelles. See: cranial fontanelles.
[Fr. dim. of fontaine, fountain, spring]


/fon·ta·nelle/ (fon″tah-nel´) a soft spot, such as one of the membrane-covered spaces remaining at the junction of the sutures in the incompletely ossified skull of the fetus or infant.


A non-ossified area of membranous bone, in particular of the skull in an infant. Fonticulus is the accepted Terminologia Anatomica name; fontanelle is widely preferred in the working medical parlance.


(fon'tă-nel') [TA]
One of several membranous intervals at the margins of the cranial bones in the infant.
Synonym(s): fonticulus [TA] .
[Fr. dim. of fontaine, fountain, spring]


, fontanelle (fŏn″tă-nĕl′) [Fr. fontanelle, little fountain]
Enlarge picture
Any of the tough, fibrous membranes lying between the bones of the cranial vault of a fetus or infant. Fontanels, colloquially known as soft spots, allow an infant's skull to be compressed during passage through the birth canal. The fontanels ossify generally by age two. See: illustration

anterior fontanel

The diamond-shaped junction of the coronal, frontal, and sagittal sutures; it becomes ossified within 18 to 24 months.

posterior fontanel

The triangular fontanel at the junction of the sagittal and lambdoid sutures; ossified generally by age one.


a gap in the skull bone where the brain and its membranes are covered only by skin. Young human infants possess an anterior fontanelle between frontal and parietal bones on top of the head, and a posterior fontanelle between occipital and parietal bones at the back of the head.


One of several "soft spots" on the skull where the developing bones of the skull have yet to fuse.

fontanelle, fontanel

a soft spot; skin and membrane-covered spaces remaining at the junction of the sutures, especially between the frontal and parietal bones in the incompletely covered skull of the fetus or neonate. This fontanelle usually closes after birth but in hydrocephalus and in some miniature breeds of dogs, particularly Chihuahuas, it may remain open. Called also fonticulus, molera.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fontanella also finds himself face to face with the "infected carcass" that is "New York New York" and asks himself: "what will become of you, turbid city-cloaca / to whom will you proffer your paper-made flowers / among the muffled yells of Central Park / and the crazed siren's screams near these unknown tourists / who don't see the hanged man who drools out his final breaths; / to whom will you flash your Credit Card and your Social Security Number / as you stand in front of that seagull confused by the waves / searching for the home that is past.
David Fontanella, 19, of Snowden Court, Lansbury Park Estate, Caerphilly, and a 17-year-old youth admitted a charge of burglary.
L'ambiziosa idea che sottende al progetto da cui nasce La parola transfuga di Luigi Fontanella e quella, credo, di evidenziare le vitalissime relazioni fra la scrittura italiana in Italia e quella di scrittori italiani che hanno vissuto, o vivono, in un milieu culturale profondamente diverso da quello italiano, quello rappresentato dagli Stati Uniti.
Generally, Fontanella uses little punctuation and composes short poems with a varying length of lines and stanzas, though his later poems are of a more traditional type.
Most notably, Fontanella highlights the way in which Pasolini's reaction to New York changed over the period separating the first (1966) and the second (1969) trips to the city, thereby underscoring the crucial nature of the intense work undertaken by Pasolini during the three-year gap.
Luigi Fontanella, in his introduction to the first collection of poems by Cesare Ruffato in English translation, Selected Poems, 1960-1993 (1996; see WLT 71:2, p.
Behind the friendly interface, Asure ID 2009 is a productivity powerhouse with capabilities to support the most sophisticated ID card personalization applications and infrastructures," said Alan Fontanella, Senior Director of Product Marketing for HID Global's Identity and Access Management business.
Littleton 55, Oakmont 43: Junior Nick Fontanella scored 12 of his 19 points from behind the arc to lift the Tigers (10-8, 6-4 Wachusett C) to a road victory and into the postseason.
User companies are now more interested in decision-support tools that, while still using optimization techniques, can allow them to conduct scenario planning, perform what-if analysis, and compare the trade-offs among multiple options," wrote analysts Noha Tohamy, John Fontanella and Greg Aimi, AMR Research, in a Jan.
Nyikita as directors for three year terms, and ratified the appointment of Fontanella and Babitts as auditors for the Company for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2009.
Besides Mario Luzi, who rightly belongs to the glorious "old guard" of Italian poetry-and whom Luigi Bonaffina has now splendidly translated in the two volumes For the Baptism of Our Fragments (1998) and Phrases and Passages of a Salutary Song (1999) for Guernica Publishing of Toronto and New York-I must also cite the following names: Roberto Deidier, Milo De Angelis, Rodolfo Di Biasio, Mariella Bettarini, Luigi Fontanella, Vito Riviello, and Antonio Spagnuolo.
The supply chain, and the technologies that support it, will play an important role in helping companies deal and thrive in an economy that is going to be quite unlike anything we've seen in the post-war era," said John Fontanella, vice president of research at AMR Research.