What are the main functions of your skeletal system?
Written by Biana Isabel Agner
The central framework of your body is the skeletal system. The musculoskeletal system is another name for it. Bones and connective tissue make up the structure.
The skeletal system serves a variety of purposes. It not only gives us our human shape and features but it allows us the following:
- Movement – The skeleton helps you stand and move by supporting body weight. The collaboration of joints, connective tissues, and muscles make your body parts mobile.
- Produces blood cells – The bone marrow is a type of marrow that produces blood cells. The bone marrow makes red and white blood cells.
- Protects and supports organs – The skull protects the brain; the ribs protect your heart and lungs. The backbone protects the spine.
- Mineral storage – Bones store minerals such as calcium and vitamin D for your body.
Some of the skeletal system’s functions are more visible than others. You can feel how your bones can support you, help movement, and protect your organs when you move.
The bones and cartilages of the skeletal system serve as a frame for support. Bones help you move by acting as attachment points for your muscles. It also covers or surround internal organs to protect.
Bone tissue also serves many important metabolic functions. It serves as a reservoir for a variety of minerals important to body function. Examples of these minerals are calcium and phosphorus. Releasing these minerals back into the bloodstream maintain the right level to support.
What type of skeleton do humans have?
In an adult, the human skeleton is an endoskeleton made up of 206 bones. The endoskeleton serves five primary purposes. It supports the body, stores minerals and lipids, and produce blood cells. It also protects internal organs and allow movement.
Endoskeletons come in variety of shapes and sizes. It also comes in complexity, shape, and function depending on the animal’s needs. The endoskeleton of most vertebrates has mineralized tissue. These tissues are in the form of bone and cartilage.
The axial skeleton includes the skull, vertebral column, and rib cage. The appendicular skeleton consists of the shoulders, limb bones, pectoral, and pelvic girdle. The axial and appendicular are the major divisions of the skeleton.
The skull, vertebral column, and thoracic cage make up the axial skeleton. The axial skeleton is the central axis of the human body. It supports and protects the brain, spinal cord, and organs in the ventral body cavity.
It serves as a surface for the attachment of muscles that move the head, neck, and trunk. It also moves those that perform respiratory movements. Adults have 80 bones in their axial skeleton.
The skull’s bones support and protect the face’s structures as well as the brain. The skull consists of 22 bones with two groups: cranial and facial bones. The cranial bones are eight bones that make up the cranial activity. It houses the brain and serves as a resting place for the head and neck muscles.
There are eight cranial bones. These are the frontal bone, two parietal bones, two temporal bones, and occipital bone. The sphenoid bone and ethmoid bone are also cranial bones.
The face has fourteen facial bones. It provides cavities for the sense organs – eyes, mouth, and nose. It also protects the digestive and respiratory tract entrances. The facial bones serve as attachments points for muscles. The 14 facial bones contain the following:
- nasal bones,
- maxillary bones
- zygomatic bones
- palatine, vomer
- lacrimal bones
- inferior nasal conchae
What’s the weakest bone in your body?
The clavicle or collarbone is the softest and weakest bone in the body. It is a thin bone that runs in a horizontal manner between your breastbone and shoulder blade. Because of its location, it is easy for the clavicle to break.
This bone is an important part of the skeletal system. It is important because it connects the axial skeleton to the pectoral girdle. It allows everyday functional movement.
The clavicle can function as a shoulder brace. It allows weight to transfer from the upper extremities to the axial skeleton. Injuries in the clavicle make it difficult to carry out daily tasks.
Between the ribcage and the shoulder blade is the clavicle. It is the bone that joins the arm to the rest of the body. The clavicle is above several vital nerves and blood vessels. It is a long bone that palpates along its entire length. It is visible beneath the skin in thin people.
The clavicle serves three purposes:
- Connects the upper limb to the trunk as a part of the shoulder girdle.
- Protects underlying neurovascular structures that supplies the upper limb.
- It conveys force from the upper limb to the axial skeleton.
Do females have more ribs than males?
Females do not have more ribs than males. Regardless of gender, most people have the same number of ribs. The belief that men have fewer ribs than women is common, but it is incorrect. This belief may stem from the biblical story of Adam and Eve.
The ribs protect organs and assists in breathing. The bony framework of the thoracic cavity contains the ribs. The ribs are the main structural component of the thoracic cage. It protects the thoracic organs.
The majority of people are born with 24 ribs, 12 on each side of their bodies. The costovertebral joint connects each rib to two thoracic vertebrae in the back. The first rib articulates with the first thoracic vertebra.
The three classified groups of the ribs are:
- True ribs – The true ribs are ribs 1-7. This have coastal cartilages that are direct and articulate with the sternum. The sternocostal joints connect them to the sternum.
The first rib is an exception to this rule because it is a synarthrosis. The costoclavicular joint allows the rib to articulate with the clavicle in a unique way.
- False ribs – The false ribs (8,9,10) articulate with the sternum through the costochondral joint. It connects their costal cartilages to the seventh costal cartilage.
- Floating ribs – The sternum does not articulate with the floating ribs (11,12).
The anatomical components of the ribs are as follows:
- Two articular facets on the head
- Costal groove
Most of the ribs are standard ribs. Standard ribs have all these characteristics. While atypical ribs are those that lack these characteristics:
- The first rib is wide and short. It has two costal grooves and one articular facet.
- The second rib is thin and long. It has a tuberosity on its superior surface to attach the serratus anterior muscle.
- The tenth rib only has one articular facet.
- The eleventh and twelfth rib has only one articular facet with no neck.
What bone takes the longest to heal?
It takes a long time for the femur to heal after it breaks. The femur, also known as the thigh bone, is the largest and most powerful bone in your body. Because the femur is one of the main bones used to walk, breaking it can make everyday tasks much more difficult.
The femur is a large, strong, and difficult bone to break. A severe accident is the most common cause of a broken femur. Vehicle accidents are the most common reason for a broken femur.
The adult’s bones are weaker, and a fall can result in a femur fraction. It depends on how close the break is to the hip. The break is a hip fracture rather than a femur fracture.
The femur is the body’s longest bone and the only bone in the thigh. It has three parts: proximal, shaft, and distal. It serves as the origin and attachment point of muscles and ligaments.
- Proximal – The hip joint contains the proximal aspect of the femur with the acetabulum of the pelvis. The greater and lesser trochanters are two bony processes that make up the head and neck.
- Shaft – The femur shaft descends in a medical direction. This increases stability by bringing knees closer to the body’s center of gravity. The shaft’s cross section is circular in the middle but flattened at the proximal and distal ends.
- Distal – The medial and lateral condyles, articulate with the tibia and patella to form the knee joint. It is at the distal end of the femur.
A femur fracture is an injury to the thigh bone that causes it to crack, break, or crush. Smaller, less complicated femur fractures usually do not need surgery. Others need immediate surgery if the bone is completely broken, crushed, or displaced.
It takes a lot of force to break the femur because it is so strong.
A high-energy collision, such as a car or motorcycle accident, is usually the source of the problem. In people who have weak bones, even a low-force event like a fall can result in a broken femur.
It can take anywhere from 12 weeks to 12 months to recover. But, with the help of a physical therapist, many patients can begin walking much earlier. Recovery times for surgery can differ depending on a variety of factors.
Are women’s bones weaker than men?
The size and sturdiness of skeleton bones differs between men and women. Differences in bone structures are present as early as childhood. Puberty is the period of physical maturation. It is the transformation of a child’s body into an adult body that is capable of reproduction.
Bones of males are larger and stronger, both in size and density. Male bone mass peaks at around 50% higher than female bone mass, and women lose bone faster as they age. Black people’s bones are stronger than white people. In fact, black women’s peak bone mass is comparable to white men.
A factor to consider when it comes to bone growth in boys is testosterone. Testosterone is the have sex hormone that aids on bone growth. While estrogen is the main sex hormone in females that inhibits bone growth as well.
The fact that boys develop larger bones than girls is because of the differences of the hormones. And because of this difference, adult women have higher risk of fractures due to the hormones. This makes the women’s bones weaker than men.
When women reach menopause, their level of estrogen drops, which can lead to bone loss. When women approach menopause, their risk of developing osteoporosis rises. For women of various ages and backgrounds, osteoporosis and bone health issues differ.
In comparison to men, women have wider pelvises and torsos.Researchers can even tell if a skeleton is male or female by measuring the hip bones. Women have stronger pelvises because of their unique ability to carry a child and give birth.
The shape and size of the pelvis is a factor in childbirth for support. It is wider and longer and is together with ligaments that loosen during pregnancy. Women’s torsos are also wider than men’s for the body to accommodate organs in pregnancy.
How many floating ribs do humans have?
People have two floating ribs (ribs 11 and 12) at the bottom of the ribcage. People often have extra or missing ribs and vertebrae, which is surprising. The sternum is not attached to the last two pairs of ribs at the bottom of the rib cage.
These are “floating ribs” because their only attachment is at the back of the rib cage. These ribs anchor to the spine’s vertebrae, which makes them prone to injury due to lack of attachment. This injury is a painful condition known as “slipping rib syndrome”.
In the chest, the rib cage is a bony structure (thoracic cavity). There are 12 pairs of ribs in total. The sternum, a bony process at the front of the rib cage that serves as an anchor point, is where each pair has a number. The cartilage at the end of each rib (costal cartilage) attaches to the sternum.
The purpose of the human rib cage (thoracic cage) is to protect the heart and lungs. The ribs, which are flat bones, are part of the axial skeleton. The primary function of flat bones is to protect the structures beneath them. The pelvis and skull are two other flat bones in the human body.
Anatomy and Physiology. (n.d.). https://open.oregonstate.education/aandp/chapter/6-1-the-
Biga, L. M., Dawson, S., Harwell, A., Hopkins, R., Kaufmann, J., LeMaster, M., Matern, P.,
Morrison-Graham, K., Quick, D., & Runyeon, J. (n.d.). Anatomy & Physiology.
Endoskeleton. (2017, April 28). biology dictionary. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from
How many ribs does the human body have? Differences between men and women. (n.d.).
Medical News Today. Retrieved October 29, 2021, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/enthesitis#causes
Morrison, W. (2018, July 31). Broken Femur: healthline. Retrieved October 30, 2021, from
Ribs. (n.d.). Physiopedia. Retrieved October 30, 2021, from https://www.physio-pedia.com/Ribs
Skeletal system. (2019, November 11). Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved October 25, 2021, from
What is the strongest and weakest bone in the human body? (n.d.). Vedantu online learning.
Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.vedantu.com/question-answer/which-is-the-strongest-and-weakest-bone-in-the-class-11-biology-cbse-60d4937b80258b738178e5b0