How many bones are in the human body? – Everything You Need to Know About the Bones

Article Highlights

  • The bone structure plays a crucial role in giving shape and strength to our body.
  • There are 206 bones in the body of an adult human being.
  • Infant babies have 270 bones.
  • Various types of bones have different functions in our body.   

The human body is a fascinating creation of God. From the beating of our hearts to stomach reflux, every system of our body is truly incredible. One aspect that often goes unnoticed is how crucial our skeleton system is. Made up of bones, it gives our body a shape as well as providing strength to do physical activities.

Have you ever wondered how many bones are in the human body? In fact, on average, an adult human body contains 206 bones. All of these bones are of different sizes and shapes. Through this post, I will try to simplify the human bone structure for you. I will also explain the function of all crucial bones in our body. So, get ready to be amazed and learn some interesting facts.

Importance of the Skeletal System in a human body

The bone or skeletal system provides the basic frame of our body. Otherwise, it would be like jelly.

Apart from this, the skeletal system gives protection to our vital organs. It keeps the organs in place and separated from each other. For example – if we don’t have a bone structure our heart and lungs would squeeze together.

Now, let’s discuss the type of bones in our body.

  • Long Bones – These bones are found in arms and legs. They help us with activities like running, jumping, and dancing. These bones act like a pillar and hold up our body. 
  • Short Bones – Such bones are generally found in fingers, toes, etc. They give us stability like balancing and gripping objects.
  • Flat Bones – This type of bone acts as a shield and safeguards our crucial organs. For example – our skull bone protects our brain. 

Adult Bone Structure of a Human Body  

The complete bone structure of an adult human body can be divided into two broad categories.

  1. Axial Skeleton with 80 bones in the spine, ear, chest, and head
  2. Appendicular Skeleton with 126 bones in arms, legs, shoulder, and pelvis.

Note – Newborn babies are born with 270 bones. Most of them are cartilage which later fuse together and form a body structure with 206 bones.

Each part of the Axial and Appendicular Skeleton is further classified based on the type of bones.

Axial Skeleton – 80 bones
Spine (vertebral column) – 26 bonesCervical Vertebrae – 7 Bones Thoracic vertebrae – 12 bones Lumbar vertebrae – 5 bones Sacrum – 1 (5 bones at the time of birth later fused into 1) Coccygeal vertebrae/ Cordal – 1 bone
Chest (Thorax) – 25 bonesRibs – 24 bones (two pairs of 12) Sternum – 1   Note – Some people also have extra cervical ribs
Head – 23 bonesCranial Bones – 8 bones Occipital boneParietal bones – 2 bonesFrontal boneTemporal bones – 2 bonesSphenoid bone (Sometimes counted as a facial bone)Ethmoid bone (Sometimes counted as a facial bone)   Facial Bones – 15 bones Nasal bones – 2 bonesMaxillae (Upper Jaw) – 2 bonesLacrimal bone – 2 bonesZygomatic bone – 2 bonesPalatine bone – 2 bonesInferior Nasal Concha – 2 bonesVomer – 1 boneHyoid bone – 1 boneMandible – 1 bone
Ear – 6 bones in total3 bones on each side
Appendicular Skeleton – 126 bones
Upper limb (arm and forearm) and hand – 64 bones (32 in each arm)Humerus – 2 bones Pectoral Girdle (Shoulder) Scapula – 2 bonesClavicle – 2 bones Lower arm bones (4 bones in total) Ulna (2 bones lined up with pinky)Radius (2 bones lined up with thumb) Hand (54 bones with 27 in each hand) Scaphoid bone – 2 bones Triquetral bone – 2 bonesLunate bone – 2 bonesTrapezium – 2 bonesPisiform bone – 2 bonesCapitate bone – 2 bonesTrapezoid bone – 2 bonesHamate bone – 2 bones Metacarpals – 10 bones in total with 5 on each side Phalanges of the hand (28 bones with 14 on each hand) Proximal Phalanges (10 bones with 5 on each side)Intermediate Phalanges (8 bones with 4 on each side)Distal Phalanges (10 bones with 5 on each hand)
Lower Limb – 60 bonesFemur – 2 bones Patella or Kneecap – 2 bones Tibia – 2 bones Fibula – 2 bones Foot – 52 bones (26 in each foot) Calcaneus or heel bone – 2 bonesTalus – 2 bonesNavicular bone – 2 bonesMedial Cuneiform bone – 2 bonesIntermediate Cuneiform bone – 2 bonesLateral Cuneiform bone – 2 bonesCuboid bone – 2 bones Metatarsals – 10 bones Phalanges of the food (28 bones with 14 in each foot) Proximal Phalanges – 10 bonesIntermediate Phalanges – 8 bonesDistal Phalanges – 10 bones  
Pelvis (Pelvic Girdle)2 bones

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Interesting Facts about Bone Count

  1. The smallest bone in the human body is called the stapes. It is found in the ear and helps transmit sound vibrations.
  2. The longest bone in our body is the femur. It is also known as the thigh bone. It plays an important role in walking.
  3. Bones keep on changing throughout our lives. They adapt to the stress and strain placed upon them.
  4. Exercise and a healthy diet can make your bones stronger.
  5. Bones have a higher strength-to-weight ratio. It means they are stronger than steel.

Common myths and misconceptions debunked

If you have joint pain then your bones are weak.Joint pain is often caused due to a problem with the tissues surrounding your joints, not the bones.
Weightlifting is bad for your bonesIf done correctly, weightlifting can make your bones stronger. 
Broken bones always heal back stronger.Bones do heal themselves. However, they are not always stronger. Proper medical care and rehabilitation are necessary for full recovery.
Bones are hard and lifelessThey are living tissues with blood vessels.
Calcium supplements are the best way to strengthen bonesThe best way to strengthen your bones to get nutrients from a balanced diet and natural sources.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the strongest bone in the human body?


Which is the weakest bone in our body?

Clavicle or collarbone

What is osteoporosis?

It is a medical condition caused by weak and brittle bones.

How can I keep my bones healthy?

By eating a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.

Can bones repair themselves?

Yes, bones can repair themselves by a process called remodeling.

I have tried my level best to furnish correct information through this article. Still, if you notice any errors then please let me know in the comment box so that I can fix it. You may also connect with me through the contact page on this website.

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