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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

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
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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why and for what was five kingdom of classification of organisms introduced
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Comment on the ozone depletion over the period of 1982 to 1996
Mpho Reply

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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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