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Human Skeleton

  • Humans have an internal skeleton made of bone, cartilage and connective tissue.
    Human skeleton from the back
Human skeleton from the front

Axial skeleton

This part of the skeleton consists of the skull comprising the cranium, facial bones, foramen magnum, palate and jaws, vertebral column, rib cage andbreastbone(sternum)

Axial skeleton animation


The skull: consists of the cranium and facial bones

  • The cranium consists of eight flat bones joined together by immovable joints called sutures. The cranium surrounds and protects the brain.
  • There is a large opening at the base of the skull called the foramen magnum through which the spinal cord passes
  • On either side of the foramen magnum is a projection or condyle which articulate with the first vertebra (called the atlas) to give the nodding movement of the head
  • There are 15 facial bones. These are irregular bones that include cheek nasal , temple and upper and lower jaw bones. The only movable bone is the lower jaw.
  • The upper and lower jaws bear the sockets for the 32 permanent teeth.
  • The number, type and arrangement of the teeth in an animal is indicated by a dental formula The human dental formula is:

This formula represents the numbers of each type of tooth in half of the upper jaw and half of the lower jaw. This formula tells us that in both the upper andlower halves there are 2 incisors, 1 canine, 2 premolars and 3 molars. Therefore in the whole jaw there are 8 incisors, 4 canines 8 premolars and 12molars, a total of 32 teeth in all.

The vertebral column : Consists of 33 vertebrae

The vertebral columns is divided into five regions

  • A cervical (neck) region consisting of 7 vertebrae. The first of these called the atlas supports the skull and the joint with the skull allows for the nodding movement of the head.

The 2 nd vertebra called the axis has a projection oo which the atlas pivots to give the side to side movement of the head.

  • A thoracic region (chest) of 12 vertebrae each of which bears a pair of ribs
  • A lumbar region (lower back) the largest vertebrae as they carry the weight of the body
  • A sacral region consisting of 5 fused vertebrae forming a bone called the sacrum that forms part of the pelvic girdle which provides for the attachment of muscles and the legs.
  • A coccyx made up of 4 fused bones. These bones form the tail in those mammals that have tails.
  • The vertebrae join up to each other in such a way that there is a continuous spinal canal which runs from the base of the skull to the pelvic girdle. This canal contains the spinal cord.
  • Between the vertebrae are discs of fibrocartilage which prevent friction between vertebrae and act as shock absorbers duringwalking, running and jumping.
  • Spinal nerves are able to enter and leave the spinal cord through gaps between adjacent vertebrae.
  • Strong ligaments and muscles around the spine stabilise the vertebrae and help to control movement.


When viewed from the side the vertebral column can be seen to have four curves, with the cervical and lumbar regions curving forwards while the thoracic and sacral regions curve backwards.

Questions & Answers

I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
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characteristics of micro business
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How can I make nanorobot?
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Comment on the ozone depletion over the period of 1982 to 1996
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula: life sciences grade 10. OpenStax CNX. Apr 11, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11410/1.3
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