206 Bones of the Human Body

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Bones are breakable but this article is groundbreaking stuff - check out all the bones of the human body, even ones you never knew you had!

  • We're born with approximately 270 bones in our body and as we age many of these bones fuse, ultimately arriving at the typical figure of 206 by the age of ~30. However, we must take this figure with caution. For instance, some types of the same bone are counted i.e. Pisiform sesamoid, while the Hallux sesamoid's are not counted. These peculiarities also extend the cranium which are counted as a multitude of separate bones within a unified cranium. Despite these minor discrepancies, the figure is roughly the most accurate at 206. 
  • The word Skeleton comes from the Greek skeletos meaning "dried body" or "mummy".
  • The human skeleton is often split into the Axial Skeleton (80 bones) and the Appendicular Skeleton (126 bones) ~ the Axial Skeleton comprises the vertebral column, the rib cage, and the skull whereas the Appendicular Skeleton is composed of the attaching limbs such as pectoral and pelvic girdles, arms, legs etc. 
  • What are the functions of the Skeleton?

- Support: The structure of the skeleton is what maintains its shape. The shape of the skeleton assists with the muscles to aid in function.

- Protection: For example, the skull protects the brain while the vertebrae protects the spinal cord.

- Movement: The shape of the skeleton permits the flexibility of the different types of joints hence aiding movement.

- Blood Cell Production: Bone marrow is one of the principle sites of blood cell production; a process known as Hematopoeisis.

- Endocrine Regulation: Osteocalcin is a hormone released by bone cells which influences the level of glucose and fat deposits by increasing release of insulin.

- Storage: The bone matrix can store calcium while the bone marrow can store iron for example.

  • What is the smallest bone in the human body? Stirrup Bone (Stapes); Found in the Middle Ear.
  • What is the largest bone in the human body? The Femur (Thighbone)
  • The Hyoid (see below) is the only bone not connected to any other bone in the body.
  • Ossification is the name by which bone is created in the body. When bone becomes solid, the bone is said to ossify. 
  • The Xiphoid Process is the name of the lower part of the Sternum. 
  • The upper most vertebrae is called the Atlas Bone
  • The ends of a bone are called its Epiphysis while the part in between the ends is called the Diaphysis. See here to see what they look like. 
  • The Olecranon is that part of the end of an elbow. It can commonly become inflamed. 

Now let's take a look just where all these 206 bones of the human body are actually located:

Throat (1)

Hyoid bone (1)

Shoulder (4)

Scapula (2)

Clavicle (2)

Chest (25)

Sternum (1)

Ribs (24)

Vertebral Column (24)

Cervical vertebrae (7)

Thoracic vertebrae (12)

Lumbar vertebrae (5)


Cranium (28)

Skull (8)


Parietal (2)

Temporal (2)


Facial (14)


Maxilla (2)

Palatine bone (2)

Zygomatic bone (2)


Middle Ear (6)

Malleus (2)

Incus (2)


Hand (54)

Carpals/Wrist (14)

Scaphoid bone (2)

Lunate bone (2)

Triquetrum bone (2)

Pisiform bone (2)

Trapezium (2)

Trapezoid bone (2)

Capitate bone (2)

Hamate bone (2)


Foot (52)

Tarsal/Ankle (14)

Calcaneus/Heel bone (2)

Talus/Anklebone (2)

Navicular bone (2)

Medial cuneiform bone (2)

Intermediate cuneiform bone (2)

Lateral cuneiform bone (2)

Cuboid bone (2)


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Published in Human Biology
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St. Michael's Mount can be found off the coast of Cornwall, England, the English version of Mont St. Michel: