The genes you inherit from your parents tell your body when to stop growing, based on how old they were when they completed puberty. The exact mechanics of this operation are still unknown by scientists (as to the differences within each person). The hormones responsible for growth are: growth hormone, thyroxin, androgens, and estrogen. When it is time for your body to complete puberty (as specified by your genes), it produces excess estrogen, which fuses the bones of your growth plates. After this, your bones will no longer grow, as they will have been disabled from responding to growth hormones.
This process is not the same in other species however. Some do not stop growing, called “indeterminate growth,” and consist of most species of fish and reptiles. Kangaroos, oddly are also indeterminate growers, and species of mollusks. In these creatures, predation or disease usually ends the life of an individual before the animals grows beyond a certain size, but sometimes all odds are beaten. Species of fish can be enormous, like sturgeon for example. The lucky ones, anyway ;>)
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