The skeletal system serves many important functions. It provides the shape and form for our bodies in addition to support and protection. It also allows bodily movement, produces blood for the body, and stores minerals. The number of bones in the human skeletal system is a controversial topic. Humans are born with between 300 and 350 bones. However, many bones fuse together between birth and maturity. As a result, an average adult skeleton consists of 206 bones Figure 1. The number of bones varies according to the method used to derive the count. While some consider certain structures to be a single bone with multiple parts, others may see it as a single part with multiple bones. There are five general classifications of bones. These are long bones, short bones, flat bones, irregular bones, and sesamoid bones. The human skeleton is composed of both fused and individual bones supported by ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage. It is a complex structure with two distinct divisions: the axial and the appendicular skeletons.
The axial skeleton consists of the 80 bones along the central axis of the human body. It is composed of the human skull, the ossicles of the middle ear, the hyoid bone of the throat, the rib cage, and the vertebral column Figure 2.
The appendicular skeleton is composed of 126 bones in the human body. The word "appendicular" is the adjective of the noun appendage, which itself means a part that is joined to something larger. Functionally, it is involved in locomotion (lower limbs and pelvic girdle) of the axial skeleton and manipulation of objects in the environment (upper limbs and pectoral girdle) Figure 3.