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Describe How The Human Skeleton Supports The Human Body

1490 words - 6 pages

In your own words, describe how the human skeleton supports the human body.
The human skeleton is the framework of the human body. It supports the softer tissues, provides points of attachment for most skeletal muscles and protects many vital organs. It also maintains the body’s’ shape.
The skeleton is made up of bones that can be categorised according to one of five functions that they perform;
• Shape and support; The skeleton provides the shape and support that gives the body its shape. As well as providing gravitational support, it supports the softer tissues and provides points of attachments for most skeletal muscle.
• Movement; Some bones provide leverage for movement. Most of ...view middle of the document...

When required, the bone releases mineral into the blood, facilitating the balance of the minerals in the body. When blood calcium levels decrease below normal levels, calcium is released from the bones so that there will be a sufficient supply for metabolic needs. When blood calcium levels are increased, the excess calcium is stored inside the bone. The process of releasing and storing calcium goes on almost continuously.

The skeleton also supports the body against the pull of gravity.
The bones in the human skeleton are living tissues consisting of calcium and various proteins that make the bone strong and rigid. It also contains living cell which continuously breakdown and remove old bone, replacing it with new bone to maintain the bones strength. Bones contains more calcium than any other organ.

The skeleton of a new born baby is made up of more the 300 bone parts, most of which are made up of cartilage. Over time, this cartilage turns to solid bone in a process called ossification. As the baby grows, some of the smaller bones fuse together to form bigger bones. By adulthood, the human skeleton contains just 206 bones.
The skeleton is divided into two groups; the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton. Both parts have their own purpose.
Axial skeleton
The axial skeleton is made up of 80 of the 206 bines in the human skeleton. This includes all of the upper body bones. It is divided into three groups; the skull, the vertebral column and the thorax. Its main purposes are to protect the vital organs, such as the brain, heart and lungs and to provide an efficient structure to perform a variety of work.
The skull – Although the head is at one end of the human body, it functions and the body’s centre. It is thought of as the most important structure in the skeleton as it houses the brain.
The skull provides the framework for most of the sensory organs such as the eyes, ears, tongue, nose and some skin. The skull is made up of 22 cranial or facial bones, plus three in the ear.
The back bone – The back bone, or vertebral or spinal column, though called a bone is a flexible structure made of 26 bones. As a baby, there are 33 vertebrae but the lower 4 fuse to form the coccyx and the next lower 5 fuse to form the sacrum.
The back bone provides structure from which all the other upper body structures branch from and it protects the spinal nerve, which is the highway of all the information the brain sends to the body travels. If the spinal column was to be damaged and the spinal nerve is damaged, information would not be able to be sent to other parts of the body from the brain. This would cause paralysation from that point in the back and down.
The thorax – The thorax is the chest, comprising of the breast bone and ribs. There are 12 ribs forming the structure of the chest.
The main purpose of the ribs is to protect the lungs and heart.
Except for the floating ribs, each rib connects to the sternum by cartilage on the tips....

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