The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones. The functions of the skeleton are to provide support, give our bodies shape, provide protection to other systems and organs of the body, to provide attachments for muscles, to produce movement and to produce red blood cells.

Click here to download and print a diagram of the human skeleton without labels so you can test yourself.

The main bones of the human skeleton are:

  • The Skull - Cranium, Mandible and Maxilla
  • Shoulder girdle - clavicle and scapula
  • Arm - humerus, radius and ulna
  • Hand - Carpals, Metacarpals and Phalanges
  • Chest - Sternum and Ribs
  • Spine - Cervical area (top 7 vertibrae), Thoracic (next 12), Lumbar (bottom 5 vertebrae), Sacrum (5 fused or stuck together bones) and Coccyx (the tiny bit at the bottom of the spine).
  • Pelvic girdle - Ilium, Pubis and Ischium.
  • Leg - Femur, Tibia and Fibula
  • Ankle - Talus and calcaneus (not shown above)
  • Foot - Tarsals, Metatarsals and Phalanges.

How are bones formed?

  • Bones are formed by the ossification of cartilage. What this really means is all bones start off as cartilage (normally in the womb) and they gradually turn to hard bone (ossification) over a period of years.
  • Calcuim is needed for strong bone growth.

Test yourself

How many bones in the skeleton?


Learn more about the skeleton:

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