Fascinating Animals

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Archive for the tag “exoskeleton”

Skeletal System – Skeletons, Joints & Bones – part one

human skeleton

Click on the “thumbnail” picture above to view it in larger size

Did you know there are 206 bones in the average human being?  Bones support and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells and store minerals.  Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue. Bones have a complex internal and external structure making them lightweight, yet strong and hard.

The cranium or skull and some other groups of bones contain a number of duplicate bones.  You can find the numbers of each type of bone in the human body by scrolling down the following linked page. For example there are 26 individual vertebrae bones in the human being, and there are 24 ribs (or 12 pairs).   Ossicle bones are the bones of the ear.  The hyoid bone is the one and only bone of the throat.  It is a horseshoe-shaped bone that serves as an anchoring structure for the tongue.  The clavicle is called the collar-bone, and the scapula called the shoulder-blade.


The skeleton is an animal’s internal support frame. This bony structure helps to protect the organs and aids in movement. Some animals, including human beings, have an internal skeleton called an endoskeleton. Other animals have a skeleton on the outside of their body called an exoskeleton.

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Skeletal System – Skeletons, Joints & Bones – part two



A joint is the point where two or more bones meet. There are three main types of joints – Fibrous (immoveable & held together by a ligament), cartilaginous (partly moveable, held together by cartilage) and the Synovial (freely moveable) joint. Synovial joints consist of a synovial capsule (collagenous structure) surrounding the entire joint, a synovial membrane (the inner layer of the capsule) which secretes synovial fluid (a lubricating liquid) and cartilage known as hyaline cartilage (a flexible connective tissue) which pads the ends of the articulating bones.  An example of a Fibrous joint is where the teeth are attached to their bony sockets. The vertebrae have cartilaginous joints between them.

Examples of Synovial Joints follow.

A hinge joint allows movement in a certain spot to take place. This joint is similar to the opening and closing of a door. Some examples of hinge joints are the elbow, knee, ankle and joints between the fingers. Hinge joints allow the body parts to bend and straighten.

Ball and socket joints allow twisting and turning movements. In a ball and socket joint, one of the bones has a rounded head which is the ball. The other bone has a cup-like area that is known as the socket. Some of these joints are the shoulder and the hip. The shoulder joint is the most flexible joint in the entire body. It allows movement in any direction.

There are other types of joints in the body. Gliding joints allow two flat bones to slide over each other like in the bones of the foot and wrist. A condyloid joint allows the head to nod and the fingers to bend. The thumbs have a saddle joint that allows enough flexibility for the thumb to touch any other finger.

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