Welcome to the wonderful world of the human skeletal system! I know you're just bursting with anticipation, eagerly awaiting information on cartilage, joints, and marrow- or maybe you just have a biology paper to research. Either way, we'll try our best to accommodate you.
The skeleton has several purposes which are vital to human life. In the human body there are 206 bones of various sizes and shapes that share the same main function, support. But not only does it provide support, but it also stores calcium, a vital mineral to human life, protects the inner organs including the central nervous system, and serves as anchorage points for muscles. The skeleton also allows humans to have an erect posture, an important evolutionary advantage. The skeleton of a human, as in most vertebrates, consists of bone and cartilage connected by ligaments and tendons. The skeletal system as a whole is divided into three parts: the axial (the vertebral column, spine, and most of the skull), the visceral (the jaw and the branchial arches), and the appendicular (the hip and shoulder girdles and the limbs). The different types of bones are also categorized into three groups. There are the long bones (all limbs), short bones (the wrist and ankle bones), flat bones (particular skull bones, ribs, scapula, and sternum), and irregular bones (facial bones and the vertebrae). The bones, joints, cartilage, and ligaments work together to provide humans with structural support and movement. Without a skeleton, each of us would be nothing but a pitiful, gooey mess.
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