Bones are an important part of the human body. They give support, shape and structure to the body and perform special functions to allow movement. At birth, the body of a child has about 350 bones. As the body grows and reaches adulthood, a number of bones fuse together giving 206 bones in the adult human body.
An infant may have about 300 to 350 bones in the body but as the body develops, a number of bones fuse together leaving only 206 important bones in the adult body. Each bone performs a special role in the body and supports the movement and functions of the body parts.
The distribution of the 206 bones in the body is as follows:
• 28 bones in the skull (facial bones, ear bones and cranium)
• The horseshoe shaped hyoid bone for the neck
• 26 bones in the vertebraes (neck, thorax, sacrum, etc)
• More than 24 bones comprising of the ribs and the shoulder girdle including sternum and breastbone.
• Single pelvic girdle
• 30 bones in the arms and legs
• A few partial bones about 8 to 18 that help in making and moving the joints.
The shortest bone in the body is the stirrup, which is present in the ear. It is not more than an inch long but is important in carrying the sound from the eardrums to the inner ear. The largest bone is known as the femur, which extends from the hip to the knee. The length of the femur entirely depends on the height of the individual. The maximum number of bones is found in the arms and legs.
Human body is full of surprises. Some bones are fused together while others work independently. Some help in movement while other gives the structure. Each part is essential for the overall growth, development, and efficient function of the individual.