Interesting facts about the human skeleton

Do you know that there are approximately 270 bones in the skeleton of a newborn? And that with aging, the number of bones decreases, and an adult has about 206 of them? Here we will tell what happens to these 64 bones and many other interesting things about the human skeleton.

Skeleton is a set of bones of the musculoskeletal system. Here are its functions:

 1. The first is, of course, a pillar. The skeleton provides the framework which supports the body and maintains its shape. And also muscles and internal organs are attached to it.

2. Movement. Together with the muscles, the skeleton makes up the musculoskeletal system. Although the function of the bones here is passive, they are so-called "levers" and move as a result of muscle contraction.

 3. Protection of internal organs. For example, the skull protects the brain, the chest protects the lungs and heart, the spine protects the spinal cord.

And here are some more functions that few people know:

 4. Shock-absorbing function

The bones of our feet and the curves of our spine are especially like that to soothe the shock of walking.

 5. Storage

Bones are the storage of phosphorus and calcium for the whole body. The so-called "depot" of mineral salts.

6. Blood cell production

The bone marrow is the source of blood cells.

Are there any differences between the skeleton of a woman and a man?

Yes, but they are relatively minor:

 ⁃ Men usually have thicker finger and limb bones than women;

 ⁃ The bones of the male skull are also thicker, the brow ridges protrude more, and in general the capacity of the male skull is larger than the female one;

 ⁃ Women's ribcage is narrower, though, the pelvis is wider and lower and pelvic bones are thinner.

Division: axial and appendicular skeleton

The axial skeleton comprises the skull, ribcage, ribs and spine.


It has two sections: the cerebral - contains the brain, and the facial - our sense organs (nose, ears, eyes and tongue).


The ribcage protects the heart and lungs and participates in the breathing process. Includes 12 pairs of ribs, 12 thoracic vertebrae and sternum.


The support and main axis of the skeleton, includes 24 vertebrae, sacrum and coccyx. It has 5 sections: cervical (7 vertebrae), thoracic (12 vertebrae which are connected to the ribs), lumbar (5 vertebrae), sacral and coccygeal (they connect the entire spine with the pelvic girdle). The spinal cord runs inside the spine.

The appendicular skeleton includes the arm bones (shoulder, forearm, hand) and leg bones, which are attached to the axial skeleton through the shoulder and pelvic girdles.

The shoulder girdle includes paired shoulder blades and collarbones. The pelvic girdle provides the attachment of the legs to the axial skeleton and also accommodates the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems.

What happens to those 64 bones?

If you have been waiting for the answer since the very beginning of the article, here finally is the answer.

The fact is that a child's skeleton contains many small bones, which grow together into large bones during the process of growing up. This applies to the bones of the skull, spine and pelvis. By the way, the sacrum generally grows together only by the age of 18-25.

What are bones made of?

Bone is an organ made up of cells and intercellular substances.

It includes:

 ⁃ Bone tissue;

 ⁃ Periosteum (the tissue that surrounds the bone from the outside);

 ⁃ Endost (lines the bone tissue from the inside and forms the medullary canal);

 ⁃ Articular cartilage;

 ⁃ Nerves;

 ⁃ Blood vessels.

Bones can be examined with the help of an X-ray. Their transparency on X-ray depends on the number of calcium salts: the more salts there are, so the less transparent the bones are.

Since you have read "Interesting facts about the human skeleton" in the title, we will not snow you under unnecessary and boring bone classification and will finally get down to business:

  • 6 bones of the body are connected and they do not relate to the skeleton. These are paired auditory ossicles located in the middle ear. Their purpose is to transmit vibrations from the eardrum to the inner ear.
  • The only bone not connected to others is the hyoid. It is located on the neck, under the tongue. It is suspended from the skull by muscles, so it belongs to the facial region of the skull.
  • The smallest skeleton bone is the stirrup in the middle ear (2.5 mg, 3-4mm length), and the most valley bone is the femur.
  • And although most bones are not subject to physical changes, the aforementioned femur, in case of a significant increase in human weight, will become wider. This is necessary to withstand more load.
  • The real color of bones is close to brown, and white exhibits from museums are already the result of special whitening processing.
  • The period of decomposition of human bones is 5-6 years. Within ideal conditions, bones can be up to 200 thousand years old; more ancient exhibits no longer contain bone tissue.
  • Bone is the strongest of all tissues in the human body. Bones are stronger than concrete and granite. In terms of strength, they can only be compared with some types of steel.
  • The strongest bone in the lower jaw.
  • Broken bones heal on their own, but with age, this takes more and more time.
  • Note to astronauts: in zero gravity, the skeleton loses calcium much faster - by about 1% per month.
  • The mass of the bone marrow, which is responsible for hematopoiesis, is approximately 2.5 kg.
  • Most of the small bones are in hands. The second-place get feet.

We would also like to bring up the topic of diseases of the body’s skeletal system. According to the Global Burden of Disease study, approximately 1.71 billion people suffer from various diseases of the musculoskeletal system. The number is, of course, huge. Let's have a look at the most common diseases:

Joint damage

  • Gout is a chronic inflammatory joint disease with recurrent bouts of acute pain caused by the deposition of uric acid salts in the tissues.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic disease of the joints in the paravertebral soft tissues, the joints of the spine, and the sacroiliac joints.
  • Osteoarthritis is a disease characterized by bony outgrowths formed at the edges of the joint.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that leads to the progressive destruction of articular structures.
  • Psoriatic arthritis is chronic inflammatory arthritis that often may happen to patients with psoriatic lesions of the skin or nails.

Bone tissue damage

  • Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a decrease in bone density and increased fragility of bones due to metabolic disorders of bone tissue, leading to frequent fractures.
  • Osteopenia, a physiological condition characterized by decreased bone density, also leads to the fragility of bones and the risk of fractures.
  • Fractures - occur as a result of injury or fragility of the bones.
  • Bone tumors

Spinal lesions

  • Cervicalgia is a lesion of the cervical spine, characterized by pain and discomfort in the neck.
  • Lumbago - acute, shooting pain in the lower back; is a symptom of various pathologies of the spine (displacement of the vertebrae or intervertebral disc, hernia, or simply severe overstrain).

Other inflammatory diseases and pain syndromes in different parts of the body, as well as sprains and dislocations

Many diseases of the skeletal system lead to limited mobility and some may even cause immobility and leave the person disabled.

The best prevention for a healthy and strong musculoskeletal system is sports, proper nutrition and, in general, leading a healthy lifestyle.

  • Get enough calcium. Any age!
  • Cut back on foods that help flush calcium out of the body. This applies to an excess of proteins, salt and caffeine.
  • Be careful with meat, as well as fish and shellfish. Excessive consumption of these foods oxidizes the body and also promotes calcium leaching.
  • Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. They are excellent natural alkalizing agents that slow down the leaching of calcium from the bone tissue.
  • To avoid injury, exercise wisely: choose softer surfaces for running instead of asphalt, pay special attention to the technique in the gym, and if you are a beginner in exercising, it is better to consult a trainer.
  • Don't neglect sleep and rest. Give your body time to recover!
  • And, of course, if something hurts or just causes discomfort - immediately contact a doctor without self-medication. Early detection of the problem is a great advantage in fixing it.

These simple rules will help to maintain a healthy and strong musculoskeletal system. Take care of yourself and stay healthy!