Biology: Mammalian Skeleton – Summary and Main Ideas


  • There are three types of skeletons:
    1. Hydrostatic skeleton
    2. Endoskeleton
    3. Exoskeleton
  • When animals moved from water to land, there was a need for the development of strong limbs and a skeleton to provide support to the bodies, which had previously been provided by water.
  • Humans have an endoskeleton consisting of:
    1. Axial skeleton (cranium, facial bones, foramen magnum, palate and jaws, vertebral column, rib cage and breastbone/sternum)
    2. Appendicular skeleton (pectoral girdle with arms and pelvic girdle with legs)
  • Functions of the human skeleton are:
    1. Movement
    2. Protection
    3. Support
    4. Storage of minerals
    5. Hearing
  • The tissues associated with the human skeleton are bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
  • Joints

    A joint is formed when two or more bones come into contact.

    There are three types of joints:

    1. Immovable joints
    2. Partly movable joints
    3. Synovial joints (Hinge joints, ball and socket joints, pivot joints, gliding joints)
  • Human locomotion requires the use and coordination of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and antagonistic muscles.
  • Muscles

    There are three types of muscle tissue:

    1. Smooth/involuntary
    2. Skeletal/voluntary
    3. Cardiac muscle

    Myofibrils are responsible for muscle contraction.

  • There are many diseases that affect the skeleton, such as rickets, osteoporosis and arthritis.
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