How many bones are in the human body?


Bones are very important for our body which gives support and shape to our body. Imagine your body without bones it will be like a bag of flesh. Bones have the protective functions. They protect inner organs like brain is protected by the skull and lungs and heart are protected by rib cage. Bones also store minerals for the body. It is the collective work of muscles, joints and bones that we can move.

When a child takes birth his body contains 300 to 350 bones but as he grows some bones start fusing with each other and up to adult age the body has an average of nearly 208 bones. The smallest bone present in our body is stirrup which can be found in the ear and is less than one inch in length. Its function is to take the sound waves from the eardrum to inner ear. The largest bone in the human body is femur that starts from hip and reaches to the knee.
A bone present between voice box and mandible is hyoid bone; it is V-shaped and is only bone in the body which is not connected to any other bone.

Generally there are two methods of counting bones so number of bones can vary. Some count the structure of bones as a single bone with different parts while others take all the small parts as the different bones.

A human skull has twenty eight bones which include 8 for cranial, 6 ear bones and 14 bones for the face. Neck has one V-shaped hyoid bone, 26 bones for vertebrae. 24 for ribs. Three breast bones called sternum, four bones in the pectoral girdle. Six pairs of bone for the ears, 60 pairs of bones in the arms. Hands contain 26 bones having 7 in the wrist, nineteen in fingers. Some are the partial bones associated with joints and vary from 8 to 18. Some parts of the body has number of bones but when touched it feels as if it is one single bone.

Mostly adult women and men have same number of bones but some people may have one extra rib pair i.e.13 pairs instead of 12.

Bones can be categorized into four types:-

Long bones
These are present in limbs

Short bones
These are the bones collectively give strength to human skeleton.

Flat bones
These bones give place to muscles to attach with each other and protect our body.

Irregular bones
These are the type of bones that cannot be categorized in three of the above types.

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