Biology

Skeleton: Functions of the Human Skeleton

len Alfred Ajibola - Sat, 21st December, 2019 @ 10:26 PM

Topics in Biology

Tropical savanna explained with its characteristics Ecological pyramid explained with its importance and limitations Hindbrain: Medulla Oblongata and its features Food web explained with examples Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, First Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 2nd Term Biology Scheme of Work, SS1, 3rd Term Male accessory sex organs: Seminal vesicles and bulbourethral glands Scrotum and its contents: Testicles Brain: Introduction to the human brain Forebrain: Lobes of the cerebrum and their functions Cerebellum: Parts and functions of the cerebellum Midbrain: Division and functions of the midbrain Negative feedback mechanism in homeostasis Arterial disorders explained with their causes Types of desert and their characteristics Characteristics of tropical rainforest Swamp forest: What are swamp forests? Characteristics of swamp forests Savanna biome: Concept of the savanna


Academic Questions in Biology

Please click here to see all Questions and Answers

In a food chain, the primary consumers are classified under trophic level  _____.

  • A. Zero

  • B. One

  • C. Two

  • D. Three

  • E. Four

  • F. Five

Cold blooded animals are referred to as _____.

  • A. Homeotherms

  • B. Endotherms

  • C. Poilokitherms

  • D. Ectotherms

  • E. Thermotherms

  • F. None of the above

All reptiles are vertebrates.

  • A. True

  • B. False

_____ cells are responsible for the formation of osteoblasts.

  • A. Osteocytes
  • B. Chondrocytes
  • C. Chondroblasts
  • D. Osteoclasts
  • E. Osteoprogenitor cells
  • F. Osteoblastic

_____ is a bone that constitute the axial skeleton.

  • A. Clavicle
  • B. Scapula
  • C. Patella
  • D. Radius
  • E. Sternum
  • F. Femur

Which of the following is false concerning cartilages and bones?

  • A. Cartilage does not have a direct blood supply while bones have direct blood supply
  • B. The process of ossification replaces a cartilage to bone
  • C. The protein that makes up cartilage is called chondrin while that that makes up bone is called ossein
  • D. Cartilage grows from both ends while bones grow from one of its epiphysis
  • E. They both have living cells within them
  • F. Haversian system is absent in cartilage but present in bones

A diagram showing the movement of energy through a food chain is called a _____.

  • A. Food Chain
  • B. Food Web
  • C. Food Energy
  • D. Food Link
  • E. Food Flow
  • F. Food Pyramid

Which of the following is NOT a part of the wrist bones (or carpal bones)?

  • A. Cuboid
  • B. Scaphoid
  • C. Hamate
  • D. Triquetral
  • E. Pisiform
  • F. Trapezium


What is Skeleton?

Humans and animals need skeleton for their shape and support. For instance, if humans had no skeleton, they will be imagined to be like a lump of skin on the floor, without any form, shape and support.

In plants, rather than having a skeleton, they possess xylem which has in its composition some dead and hardened tissues (commonly called wood). These attributes to a plant's uprightness and support.

In animals, the skeleton is defined as a bony framework of the body that provides support, shape and protection. It is noteworthy to state that all the bones in your body make up your skeleton.

For now, understand that unicellular organisms do also have a form of skeleton.

Please read on bone and bone cells here.


The skeleton serves various functions in animals. For instance:

The skeleton provides support to humans in the sense that our bodily muscles are attached to various bones in our body via the tendons.

As an instance, the bone of the ribs serves as an attachment to the intercostal muscles. The intercostal muscles are quite important during the process of breathing.

Similarly, the arm muscles are attached to the scapula bone; are these are necessary for some of the movements of the upper limb.

Please read on the 206 bones of the human skeleton here.


Animals have got different shapes and this is a function of the skeleton. The ability to stand in an upright position is one of the characteristics of primates; and the nature of their skeleton is responsible for their uprightness.

Please read on primates and their characteristics here.


Skeleton offers protection to the delicate internal organs. Examples of these organs are the heart and lungs which are protected by the rib cage or thoracic cage. Also, the brain is protected inside the skull and this is one reason why footballers can perform heading skills in the game of football without damaging their brain.

Below is an image of the Human Skeleton:
Human Skeleton - Len Academy

You can read on skeleton and skeletal materials here.


Functions of the Skeleton

In Humans, the Skeleton generally performs six main functions. These are:

1. Protection: The skeleton protects the delicate internal organs; for instance, the brain is protected by some bones of the skull while the heart and lungs are protected by the sternum (breast bone) and ribs, giving rise to the rib cage or thoracic cage.


2. Movement: The skeleton brings about movement in conjunction with the cartilages, muscles, tendons and nervous system.
Please read on cartilages and their functions here.

Note: Ligaments attaches bone to bone while Tendons attaches muscles to bone.


3. Support and Shape:: Without the skeleton, we won't be upright. The shape of all animals are dependent on the structure of their skeleton. Also, the bones that make up the face supports it, giving the face it's structure.
Please read on chitin (skeletal materials of insects) here.


4. Production of Blood Cells: The red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets are produced in the bone marrow of spongy bones.
Please read on red blood cells and hemoglobin here.


5. Hormonal functions: The bone is an endocrine organ.

Endocrine glands (or organs) produces hormones.

The hormone osteocalcin is produced by the bone cells. It regulates insulin production and sensitivity in the body. The hormone also aid in the deposition of fats around the body.

Interestingly, it is believed by medical scientist that osteocalcin has a part to play in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and obesity.
You can read on homeostasis here.


6. Storage of Minerals: About 99% of the total bodily calcium are present and stored in bones. The bone also accounts for about 85% of the body's phosphorus.

Please read on the various minerals, their sources, functions and deficiencies here.

The bone acts as a repository of calcium. This function is vital in the regulation of blood calcium. This process can be critical to the survival of humans.

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Amazing facts in Biology

Panda eating bamboo - Len Academy

99% of a panda's diet is bamboo. They may eat fish or other small animals occasionally

When attacked by insects, lima beans plant will often command parasitic wasps to their defence.

When the leaves of the lima bean's leaves are eaten by insects, the plant gives off a substance that signals parasitic wasps to swam in, destroying its enemies (the leaf-eating insects) in the process

Frogs drink water through their skin

Armadillos - Len Academy

Armadillos are western mammals known for their unique armor-like shell which are bulletproof

Polka-dotted zebra - Len Academy

Although zebras are known for their characteristics black and white stripes, we still have some polka-dotted zebras

Charles Darwin is a British naturalist and biologist who contributed greatly into the study of evolution. According to research, he frequently ate the animals he studied

Lungs are the only human organ that can float on water

Unlike most snakes that lay eggs, anacondas give birth to live babies

Shrimp - Len Academy

A shrimp's heart is in its head

Women have more pain receptors than men


NOTABLE POINTS IN Biology

For a thing to be considered living, it must possess all the basic characteristics of life. These include:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

Please read the explanations on all the basic characteristics of life here

During strenuous exercises like sprinting or running, your body may actually work in the shortage of oxygen. During this time, your body owes oxygen (called oxygen debt) and it must be replenished or repayed after the exercise is stopped. This is why you breathe excess of oxygen after you stopped the exercise.

This is the concept of anaerobic respiration

Food Chain - Len Academy

A food chain is a diagram that shows the relationship between plants and animals within a habitat on the basis of how they rely on each other for food.

Note: Habitat is a place where an organism live. It is of three types:

  • Terrestrial (Land)
  • Aquatic (Water)
  • Arboreal (Treetops)

You can read on food chain here

The term Biology originated from two Greek words. They are:

  • Bios: means life.

  • Logos: means knowledge or to study.

Biology can therefore be defined as the study of life

Anything that has life is generally considered as a living organism (or organism). All living organisms must be able to carry the following activities:

  1. Movement

  2. Respiration

  3. Nutrition

  4. Irritability or Sensitivity

  5. Growth

  6. Excretion

  7. Reproduction

  8. Death

  9. Adaptation

  10. Competition

The above listed points are often regarded as the basic characteristics of life. You can memorize them using the acronym -> MR. NIGER DAC.

You can read on the introduction to biology and the basic characteristics of life here

The gas used in the manufacture of food by plants is Carbon dioxide or Carbon(IV)oxide or CO2

Plants manufacture food through a process called photosynthesis.

Please read on photosynthesis here

It is noteworthy to state that plants are the only orgnisms that take away CO2 from the atmosphere