How Many Bones are in Our Body?

Last Update: May 31st, 2022

If there’s one thing I am absolutely fascinated with, it’s the human body. You may not know it, but each human body is made up of so many different but essential things. If one part of our body did not exist, it would not work the same way. Take, for example, the bones in our body. Have you ever stopped to wonder what they do? Today, I’m going to be teaching you all about them!

How Many Bones are in Our Body?

As we all know, humans have a lot of bones, but do you know exactly how many bones there are in our body? As babies, we are born with about 300 bones. By the time we enter early adulthood, we only have about 206 bones left. While the exact age of getting 206 bones varies from person to person, the estimate is that it happens around 20 to 25 years old.

Before you get all confused, nope, our bones do not disappear as we grow older. Instead, as we grow older, the bones in our bodies start fusing. A newborn baby’s bones are a mix of bones and cartilage. As we grow older, the cartilage eventually solidifies into the bone through the process of ossification, thereby reducing the overall number of bones in our body, which explains why babies are born without kneecaps.

What are Bones for?

Bones are far more important than you think. In fact, it plays a significant role in our existence. Bones have three crucial functions in our body. First, they hold our bodies up and give them shape. If it weren’t for our bones, we’d all be a pile of mush on the ground, like jellyfish or worms. 

Second, and arguably the most important one, is they protect the body’s most important organs. These bones ensure that vital organs like our heart, lungs, and brain are protected, especially in the event of an accident.

Third, our bones hold important spongy tissues called bone marrow. The bone marrow is important because it produces the tiny particles that make up our blood. It makes the red blood cells, which carry oxygen. It also produces the white blood cells that fight foreign invaders in our body, and it makes platelets that are responsible to stop bleeding when you are cut.

Some other bones have an extra job. For example, our jawbones hold our teeth in place so that we can chew our food. Our ears have tiny bones called the anvil, hammer, and stirrup that further amplify the sounds we hear.

What are The Types of Bones in Our Body?

Our body contains four different types of bones:

  • Long Bone: It’s a bone with a long and thin shape. Examples of these are the bones in our arms and legs. Together with the muscles, these bones work like levers and allow locomotion.
  • Short Bone: It has a squat and cubed shape, such as the bones on our wrists and ankles.
  • Flat Bone: It has a flat and broad surface, such as the bones on your ribs, should blades, breast bone, and skull bone.
  • Irregular Bone: This bone has a shape that neither describes any of the three types. An example of this would be the bones of the spine.

What Are Some Fun Facts About Bones?

  1. Our hands and feet contain more than half of our body’s bones. Each of our hands has 27 bones and each foot has 26. That means our two hands and feet have 106 bones altogether!
  2. The largest bone in our body is the femur. People sometimes call it the thighbone, and it is the bone that connects to your hip socket and ends at your knee.
  3. Not everybody has 206 bones. That’s true! The number isn’t the same for everyone. Around 10 percent of adults have an extra vertebra in the lower spine. Sometimes, sesamoid bones can occasionally pop up around the wrist, hand, ankle, foot, or neck.
  4. Your bones are constantly going through remodeling. As we age, we inflict stress on our bones causing the bone material to deteriorate. Because of this, your bone goes through a process called bone remodeling. In this process, mature bone tissue is removed from the skeleton and is replaced with new bone tissue.
  5. Bones hold about 99 percent of the calcium in our body. Furthermore, they are made up of about 25 percent water. 
  6. Some bones are made to endure two to three times your body weight in force. But did you know that the bones are not the hardest substance in our body? In fact, that title belongs to the tooth enamel!

How Should You Take Care of Your Bones?

Your bones serve a huge purpose, so it’s important that you learn how to take care of them. Here are some things you should do to take care of your bones:

  • Protect your bones by wearing a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads when using a skateboard, bike, scooter, and rollerblade.
  • Strengthen your bones by staying active and exercising! You can do activities like running, dancing, working out, and so much more.
  • Don’t forget to include calcium in your diet. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 1,000 mg a day. Some good sources of calcium are dairy products, almonds, tofu, broccoli, canned salmon, beans, and milk.
Elena Jones

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