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Skeletal System

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We are born with about 300 to 350 bones but some of the bones fuse together as we grow and by the time we reach young adulthood we have on an average about 206 bones.


Bones: More than 206 bones support the body and provide protection for organs such as the brain, heart and lungs. The bones of the skeleton act as a frame to which muscles are attached. These skeletal muscles allow the body to move; they are attached to bones by bands of tough elastic tissue, called tendons, and it is by means of tendons that they exert their pull. Another important task of bones is to produce blood cells. Finally, the bones provide a store of chemicals such as calcium salts, which are released into the bloodstream, as they are needed.

Types of bones: -
Man has evolved with bones specialized into four main types, each with a different role:-
1) The long bones: - eg:- in the limbs, they are thin, hollow and light, they play as essential role in all types of movements.
2) Flat Circular bones: - eg:- bones that form the spine or vertebral column
3) Long Circular Bones: - eg. Ribs, they are strong but elastic giving the chest the flexibility and springiness it needs for breathing.
4) Flat irregular bones: - eg:- shoulder, blades, hips and skull these are strong but light and protect delicate organs, such as the brain.

The framework of the body: -
The body owes its shape & support to the skeleton a frame consisting of hundreds of jointed bones.

Head : The bones of the skull surround & protect the brain; the lower jaw is hinged to the skull.


Chest : The bony cage of the ribs, connected to the spine at the back and the breastbone at the front, surround and protect the organs in the chest.


Arm : The bones of the arms are jointed to sockets in the shoulder blades.

Spinal Column : The 7 vertebrae in the neck and the 20 in the back make the spinal column.

Spinal Column

Pelvis : The bones of the pelvis surround the lower abdominal organs, support the spine and provide attachment for the legs.

Hand : Eight bones make up the wrist, five the palm, and 14 hinged bones form the fingers and thumb.


Leg : Three major leg bones are suspended by ball and socket joints from the pelvis

Leg bone

Foot : The bones of the foot form arches, so that the weight is carried on the heel and toes.

foot bones

There are about 650 muscles in the body, and they are divided into three different types, skeletal, visceral and cardiac The skeletal muscles move the arms, legs, and spine The visceral muscles control movements in the walls of blood vessels, the stomach and intestines. The cardiac muscles produce the pumping action of the heart. All the muscles are present in the body at birth, and everyone has the same number of muscles, consisting of the same number of fibres.


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