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major functions of bones

attach to muscles, some organs and certain soft tissue
protect softer tissues
haemopoiesis - produce blood cells and platelets
store salts, minerals and energy reserves
form blood vessels and nerve passageways
support the weight of the body
work with muscles to maintain body position and control movement


classifications of bones

Flat bones - ribs, scapulae, certain skull bones

Irregular bones - many facial bones, vertebrae of spine and pelvis

Short bones - wrists and ankles

Long bones - arms, forearms, thighs, legs, palms, soles, fingers, toes

Sutural bones - extra bone pieces that can occur within a suture in the skull

Sesamoid ,round, bones - inside tendons near joints in knees, hands and feet


examples of: Flat Bones

These resemble plates, with broad surfaces and include the ribs, sternum, scapulae, most skull bones.

They provide protection for underlying soft tissues and may be thin and slightly curved


examples of: Irregular Bones

Irregular bones have different and complex shapes and are often connected to other bones.

They include many facial bones and those that make up the vertebrae and the pelvis.


examples of: Short Bones

Small and often cube-shaped, short bones include the carpal bones and tarsal bones.


examples of: Long Bones

These have long bone shafts with expanded ends and are much longer than they are wide. Named for their elongated shape instead of their actual size.

The three bones of the finger are long bones.
All bones of the limbs are long bones except the patella, carpals and tarsals.

located in the arms, legs, palms, soles, fingers and toes.


examples of: Sutural Bones

also known as 'Wormian Bones'.

these are small, flat and irregular bones between the flat bones of the skull.

ranging in size from a quarter to a grain of sand.


examples of: Sesamoid Bones

Small flat bones resembling sesame seeds located near joints of the hands, knees and feet.

The patellae are sesamoid bones.

May form in up to 26 locations in the body.

each individual has different numbers of sesamoid bones.

Some help to control the directions in which tendons pull.

some have unknown functions


Two divisions of the skeleton

Axial skeleton

Appendicular skeleton


how many bones in human body


including those of the middle ear


role of the: Axial skeleton

Support and protect the head, neck and trunk.


what bones are make up the axial skeleton

Hyoid bone (bone in neck that supports tongue)
Vertebral column
Thoracic cage


major features of the: Skull

made up of 22 firmly interlocked bones. divided into 8 Cranium bones enclosing the chamber, aka cranial cavity, that supports the brain and 14 Facial bones.

lines where skull bones lock are called Sutures

only movable bone is the Mandible aka lower jaw

houses and protects the brain.

air filled spaces inside cranial bones called 'Paranasal Sinuses' help the voice to resonate, also to reduce the weight of the skull.


major features of the: Spine

33 bones

Extends from skull to pelvis

made up of 26 bony vertebrae separated by intervertebral discs made of cushioning cartilage, connected by ligaments.

Each vertebrae had a drum shaped body, making up the thick anterior portion of the bone.

The trunk and head are supported by the vertebral column, which also protects the spinal cord.

The spinal cord passes through the vertebral canal created by openings in the vertebrae.

At the bottom some vertebrae are fused to form the sacrum, part of the pelvis, and coccyx aka tailbone which is attached to the end of the sacrum.


major features of the: Cervical vertebrae


allows arteries of the brain to pass through

Atlas - first vertebrae

Axis - second vertebrae


major features of the: Thoracic vertebrae


larger then the cervical vertebrae

their spinous processes slope downwards

increase in size down the spine to bear increasing loads of body weight

each thoracic vertebrae articulates with with ribs

the transverse processes of vertebrae T1 to T10 are relatively thick. They contain 'transverse costal facets' for rib articulation


major features of the: Lumbar vertebrae


even larger then thoracic vertebrae, supporting more body weight

have a triangular vertebral foramen

superior articular processes face medially
inferior articular processes face laterally


major features of the: Sacrum


triangular structure

forms the vertebral columns base

A ridge of tubercles project outward with rows of openings, the posterior sacral foramina, through which nerves and blood vessels pass.

The sacral canal continues through the sacrum to an opening called the sacral hiatus, where four pairs of anterior sacral foramina allow nerves and blood vessels to pass.


major features of the: Coccyx


also known as the tailbone

lowest part of the vertebral column

four fused vertebrae

attached to the sacral hiatus by ligaments



composed of the thoracic cage which includes -

12 pairs of ribs connected posteriorly to the thoracic vertebrae. 7 true ribs, 5 false ribs.

The sternum - manubrium, gladiolus, xiphoid process

Costal cartilages which attach the ribs to the sternum anteriorly.

Supports the pectoral girdle and upper limbs

Protects the visceral organs inside the thoracic and upper abdominal cavities


Pectoral Girdle

made up of the clavicle and scapula

aids movement of arms

connects upper limb bones to axial skeleton

supports upper limbs and is where muscles that move upper limbs are attached.


major features of the: Ribs

one pair attached to each of the 12 thoracic vertebrae totalling 24 in all.

first 7 pairs are true ribs, aka vertebrosternal ribs, attached to the sternum via costal cartilages.

the last 5 pairs are false ribs, meaning their cartilages don't reach the sternum directly.

the cartilages of the upper 3 false ribs join the cartilages of the 7th true rib.

the final 2 false ribs are called floating ribs, aka vertebral ribs, because they do not attach to the sternum via cartilage at all.

Ribs are curved with enlarged heads allowing them to attach to the sternum via facets.

The transverse process of the vertebrae articulates with a tubercle, aka projection, close to the ribs head.


define appendicular skeleton

contains upper and lower limb bones and the bones anchoring the limbs to the axial skeleton.

The appendicular skeleton includes the pectoral girdle, upper limbs, pelvic girdle and lower limbs.


major features of: clavicles

located at the base of the neck running horizontally between the manubrium and the scapulae.

The bones brace the scapulae to hold the shoulders in place and provide muscle attachment points for the upper limbs, chest, and back.


define: Scapulae

triangular bones either side of the upper back.

each scapulae is divided by a spine that leads to an acromion process and caracoid process.

acromian process provides muscle attachments for the upper limbs and chest

the glenoid cavity is a depression that articulates with the headof the humerous bone.


bones in the upper limbs

bones of the arms, fore-arms and hands which are -
meta carpals


major features of: humerus

the upper arm bone extends form the scapulae to the elbow.

has a smooth upper head that fits into the glenoid cavity, with two tubercles providing muscle attachment points.

the lower portions has two smooth condyles that articulate with the ulna and radius.


major features of: Radius

located on the thumb side of the forearm

extends from the elbow to the wrist, crossing over the ulna when the hand is turned.

its upper end articulates with the humerus and a notch in the ulna.

a process called the radial tuberosity serves as an attachment for the biceps brachii muscle.

the distal end of the radius has a styloid process providing ligament attachments to the wrist.


major features of: Ulna

longer then the radius

overlaps the end of the humerus and has a trochlear notch at its proximal end that articulates wityh the humerus.

the distal end has a head that articulates with the notch of the radius. processes either side of this notch provide attachment for muscles.

a disc of fibrocartilage joins the triquetrum bone of the wrist.


major features of: Hand

consists of the wrist, palm and fingers