Skeletal system is the biological system providing support in living organisms. Skin, muscle and bones allow movement. Skin - pliable covering. Muscles do actual moving. Bones give anchor to move against. The skeleton functions not only as the support for the body but also in haematopoiesis, the manufacture of blood cells that takes place in bone marrow. This is why people who have cancer of the bone marrow almost always die. It is also necessary for protection of vital organs and is needed by the muscles for movement. The human skeleton consists of both fused and individual bones supported and supplemented by ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage. It serves as a scaffold which supports organs, anchors muscles, and protects organs such as the brain, lungs and heart. The biggest bone in the body is the femur in the thigh and the smallest is the stapes bone in the middle ear. In an adult, the skeleton comprises around 30–40% of the total body weight, and half of this weight is water. Fused bones include those of the pelvis and the cranium. Not all bones are interconnected directly: there are three bones in each middle ear called the ossicles that articulate only with each other. The hyoid bone, which is located in the neck and serves as the point of attachment for the tongue, does not articulate with any other bones in the body, being supported by muscles and ligaments. Development
Early in gestation, a fetus has a cartilaginous skeleton from which the long bones and most other bones gradually form throughout the remaining gestation period and for years after birth in a process called endochondral ossification. The flat bones of the skull and the clavicles are formed from connective tissue in a process known as intramembranous ossification, and ossification of the mandible occurs in the fibrous membrane covering the outer surfaces of Meckel's cartilages. At birth, a newborn baby has over 300 bones, whereas on average an adult human has 206 bones ( these numbers can vary slightly from individual to individual). The difference comes from a number of small bones that fuse together during growth, such as the sacrum and coccyx of the vertebral column. Organization
There are over 206 bones in the adult human skeleton, a number which varies between individuals and with age – newborn babies have over 270 bone some of which fuse together into a longitudinal axis, the axial skeleton, to which the appendicular skeleton is attached. Axial Skeleton
The axial skeleton (80 bones) is formed by the vertebral column (26), the rib cage (12 pairs of ribs and the sternum), and the skull (22 bones and 7 associated bones). The axial skeleton transmits the weight from the head, the trunk, and the upper extremities down to the lower extremities at the hip joints, and is therefore responsible for the upright position of the human body. Most of the body weight is located in back of the spinal column which therefore have the erectors spinae muscles and a large amount of ligaments attached to it resulting in the curved shape of the spine. The 366 skeletal muscles acting on the axial skeleton position the spine, allowing for big movements in the thoracic cage for breathing, and the head. Conclusive research cited by the American Society for Bone Mineral Research (ASBMR) demonstrates that weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone growth. Only the parts of the skeleton that are directly affected by the exercise will benefit. Non weight-bearing activity, including swimming and cycling, has no effect on bone growth. Appendicular Skeleton
The appendicular skeleton (126 bones) is formed by the pectoral girdles (4), the upper limbs (60), the pelvic girdle (2), and the lower limbs (60). Their functions are to make locomotion possible and to protect the major organs of locomotion, digestion, excretion, and reproduction. Support
The skeleton provides the framework which supports the body and maintains its shape. The...