What is Bones and the Human Skeleton? | Types, Definition, Structure, Function & Facts

What is Bones and the Human Skeleton?

All the bones in the human body together form the skeletal system. The skeletal system provides strength and rigidity to our bodies so that we don’t crumble like jellyfish. We have 206 bones in our body. Each bone has a function. Some bones have a protective effect on the softer and more fragile parts of our body. For example, the skull protects our brain and the rib cage protects our heart and lungs.

Other bones, such as those in the legs and arms, help us move by supporting the muscles. The skeletal system consists of more than bones. It also includes tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Tendons attach our bones to muscles so we can move. Ligaments attach bones to other bones.

What are bones made of?

About 70% of your bones are not living tissue but hard minerals like calcium. The outside of the bone is called the cortex. It is hard, smooth and firm. Inside the cortical bone is a spongy, spongy bony material known as the trabecular or concellosa bone.

This bone is lighter, allowing the bone itself to be lighter and easier to move. It also leaves room for blood vessels and makes our bones slightly bend. This way our bones won’t break so easily. In the center of the bone is a softer substance called marrow.

Bone Marrow

There are two types of bone marrow, yellow and red. Yellow bone marrow is mainly made up of fat cells. Red marrow is important because it is where our body makes red and white blood cells. When we are born, all of our bones have red marrow. As an adult, about half of our bones have red marrow.


Our bones come together and connect at special places called joints. Your knees and elbows are joints, for example. Many joints have a large range of movement and are called ball and socket joints. The shoulder and hip are ball and socket joints. Joints have a smooth, durable material called cartilage. Cartilage, together with fluid, allows bones to rub against each other smoothly and not wear out.

How do broken bones heal?

Your body can heal a broken bone on its own. Of course, your doctor will help by making sure the healing bone is straight and using the correct bandage or splint. Broken bones heal in stages. When broken, there will be blood around and form a kind of scab over the broken parts. Then, stiffer tissue will begin to grow over the damaged area called collagen.

Collagen and cartilage fill the space between the two sides of the fracture. This bridge will continue to transform and harden until the bone heals. It usually takes several months for the bone to heal and return to normal. While the bone heals, it cannot take the pressure of normal bone, which is why people use crutches and a sling to relieve pressure on the bone while it heals.

Fun facts about bones for students

The smallest bone is located in the ear.

Even though your bones stop growing when you’re about 20 years old, they’re constantly making new bone cells.

The spine is made up of 33 bones.

Red bone marrow can produce about 5 billion red blood cells per day.

Very few man-made substances can achieve the lightness and strength of bones.

If your body doesn’t get enough calcium, it takes it from your bones, making your bones weak. A good reason to
drink your milk!

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