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Medicine LibreTexts

6.18: Summary

  • The skeleton maintains the shape of the body, protects internal organs and makes locomotion possible.
  • The vertebrae support the body and protect the spinal cord. They consist of: cervical vertebrae in the neck, thoracic vertebrae in the chest region which articulate with the ribs, lumbar vertebrae in the loin region, sacral vertebrae fused to the pelvis to form the sacrum and tail or coccygeal vertebrae.
  • The skull protects the brain and sense organs. The cranium forms a solid box enclosing the brain. The mandible forms the jaw.
  • The forelimb consists of the humerus, radius, ulna, carpals, metacarpals and phalanges. It moves against or articulates with the scapula at the shoulder joint.
  • The hindlimb consists of the femur, patella, tibia, fibula, tarsals, metatarsals and digits. It moves against or articulates with the pelvis at the hip joint.
  • Bones articulate against each other at joints.
  • Compact bone in the shaft of long bones gives them their strength. Spongy bone at the ends reduces weight. Bone growth occurs at the growth plate.

Contributors

  • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)