Skeletal System Facts of Human Body

  • It is quite interesting to note that about 98 percent of all the animals inhabiting the planet earth do not have internal skeletons or backbones and are termed as invertebrates.
  • Only a minute percentage of the living animals have backbones or internal skeletons and are known as vertebrates, the more advanced of which are humans.
  • It is one of the most surprising human skeletal system facts that the bony structure of infants may be comprised of up to 350 bones.
  • The 300 to 350 bones found in human children during early developmental stages fuse together, thus reducing in number to just 206 till the age of nine.
  • Along with over two hundred bones, you can also find as many as 650 muscles attached to your skeletal system for the performance of versatile activities and the protection of internal organs.
  • Out of the 26 bones found in a human foot, 7 are grouped as tarsals, while the remaining nineteen fall under two different categories, namely, metatarsals and phalanges.
  • In each of your hands, there are 27 bones in total, which can be divided into carpals metacarpals and phalanges.
  • Three types of phalanges are found both in the hands and feet, which are proximal phalanges, distal phalanges and intermediate phalanges.
  • In the complex and mechanical structure of the feet, there are over hundred tendons, muscles and ligaments, and as many as 33 joints, out of which 20 are actively articulated as you walk or run.
  • There is no denying the fact that a single bony structure would not have allowed you all the briskness, variety and complexity of movements which you accomplish with the help of over two hundred bones, joined with one another through joints.
  • The real source of motility in the body is provided by the coordinated movements in muscles which, in turn, get energy from the food that you eat on daily basis.
  • Do you know that the teeth (composed of dentin and enamel) act as an integral part of the skeletal system but are not counted as bones?
  • The femur and the skull bones are much tougher to break, but even an average bone needs about 10 to 16 pounds of pressure to cause a fracture in it.
  • Talking of the structural composition of a bone, they are made up of cartilage, blood vessels, periosteum, bone marrow, spongy bone and compact bone.
  • The vertebral column, the skull and the rib cage are formed of 80 bones and, in turn, form the axial skeleton of your body.
  • Your appendicular skeleton contains a total of 126 bones which are used in various ways to form the pectoral girdles, the upper limbs, the lower limbs as well as the pelvic girdle.
  • The four specialized types of bones in your body are long bones, flat circular bones, long circular bones, and flat irregular bones.
  • Hips, skull and shoulder blades are strong but light flat irregular bones, that protect delicate organs, for example, brain.
  • Ribs are the strong and elastic long circular bones which render the chest flexibility and springiness which it needs to facilitate breathing.
  • Flat circular bones constitute the category of bones which are joined to form the spine or vertebral column.
  • Thin, hollow, light and long bones are found in limbs and play an essential role in all type of movements you make for the execution of miscellaneous routine life activities.
  • The largest bone in your body is the pelvis or the hip bone which is in fact made up of the six bones joined firmly.
  • With respect to location and structural differences, all the bones of spine or vertebral column can be grouped into five categories, namely, coccyx, sacrum, lumbar, thoracic and cervical vertebrae.
  • Out of the total 33 vertebrae of the human vertebral column, 24 are the articulating ones while the remaining 9 are fused vertebrae in the coccyx and the sacrum regions.
  • Situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso, your backbone contains a spinal canal to house and safeguard the spinal cord.
  • In the coccygeal or tailbone region, there are 4 fused vertebrae, while the sacrum is formed with the fusion of 5 such bones.
  • In the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions of the backbone, you will find seven, twelve and five vertebrae, respectively.
  • Hyperkyphosis is an extreme case of the kyphosis or roundback disease which causes over 45o curvature in the thoracic region, thus resulting in very painful and ugly-looking physical deformity.

About the Author

Posted by: M. Isaac / Senior writer

A graduate in biological sciences and a PhD scholar (NCBA&E University, Lahore), M. Isaac combines his vast experience with a keen and critical eye to create practical and inherently engaging content on the human body. His background as a researcher and instructor at a secondary school enables him to best understand the needs of the beginner level learners and the amateur readers and educate them about how their body works, and how they can adopt a healthier lifestyle.

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