human skeletal system

bone growth

Early in human development, the skeleton consists of only cartilage and other connective tissues. At this point, the skeleton is very flexible. As the fetus develops, hard bone begins to replace the cartilage, and the skeleton begins to harden. Not all of the cartilage, however, is replaced by bone. Cartilage remains in many places in your body, including your joints, your rib cage, your ears, and the tip of your nose. A baby is born with zones of cartilage in its bones that allow growth of the bones. These areas, called growth plates, allow the bones to grow longer as the child grows. By the time the child reaches an age of about 18 to 25 years, all of the cartilage in the growth plate has been replaced by bone. This stops the bone from growing any longer. Even though bones stop growing in length in early adulthood, they can continue to increase in thickness throughout life. This thickening occurs in response to strain from increased muscle activity and from weight-lifting exercises.

structure of bones

Bones come in many different shapes and sizes, but they are all made of the same materials. Bones are organs, and recall that organs are made up of two or more types of tissues. The two main types of bone tissue are compact bone and spongy bone ( Figure 1.2). Compact bone makes up the dense outer layer of bones. Spongy bone is found at the center of the bone and is lighter and more porous than compact bone. Bones look tough, shiny, and white because they are covered by a layer called the periosteum. Many bones also contain a soft connective tissue called bone marrow in the pores of the spongy bone. Bone marrow is where blood cells are made. Bones are made up of different types of tissues.


functions of bones

Your skeletal system gives shape and form to your body, but it also plays other important roles. The main functions of the skeletal system include: The skeletal system is made up of bones, cartilage, and ligaments. The skeletal system has many important functions in your body. What bones protect the heart and lungs? What protects the brain? Support. The skeleton supports the body against the pull of gravity, meaning you dont fall over when you stand up. The large bones of the lower limbs support the rest of the body when standing. Protection. The skeleton supports and protects the soft organs of the body. For example, the skull surrounds the brain to protect it from injury. The bones of the rib cage help protect the heart and lungs. Movement. Bones work together with muscles to move the body. Making blood cells. Blood cells are mostly made inside certain types of bones.


your skeleton

How important is your skeleton? Can you imagine your body without it? You would be a wobbly pile of muscle and internal organs, and you would not be able to move. The adult human skeleton has 206 bones, some of which are named below ( Figure 1.1). Bones are made up of living tissue. They contain many different types of tissues. Cartilage, a dense connective tissue, is found at the end of bones and is made of tough protein fibers. Cartilage creates smooth surfaces for the movement of bones that are next to each other, like the bones of the knee. Ligaments are made of tough protein fibers and connect bones to each other. Your bones, cartilage, and ligaments make up your skeletal system.

instructional diagrams

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bones are made of cartilage and ligaments.

a. true

-->  b. false

ligaments create smooth surfaces for the movement of bones.

a. true

-->  b. false

which best describes the skeleton of a baby?

a) a skeleton of only cartilage and other connective tissues.

-->  b) a skeleton of bones with areas of cartilage for growth.

c) a skeleton that is just beginning to harden.

d) a skeleton just like that of an adult, only smaller.

what is cartilage?

a) a soft connective tissue in spongy bone.

b) a band of fibrous connective tissue that holds bones together.

-->  c) a dense connective tissue that provides a smooth surface for the movement

d) a tough, fibrous membrane that covers the outer surface of bone.

what is the light and porous material at eh center of bone?

-->  a) spongy bone

b) compact bone

c) bone marrow

d) the periosteum

which of the following are functions of the skeleton?

a) to store calcium

b) to support the body against the pull of gravity

c) to protect the soft organs of the body

-->  d) all of the above are functions of the skeleton.

why does the skeleton stop growing in length?

a) because the growth plates stop working.

b) because there is not enough calcium and other nutrients in the body.

-->  c) because the cartilage in the growth plate has been replaced by bone.

d) because the bones reach their maximum length.

diagram questions

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