What makes up the skeletal system?

The skeletal system consists of the bones and joints that help to support the body and protects the organs inside the body. The bones making up the skeletal system also produce blood cells in the bone marrow.

The human body has a structure of bones inside called a skeleton. There are more than 200 bones in the human body. Many animals also have a skeleton. The joints in our skeletal system allow the body to move smoothly. Ligaments and muscles help to hold the skeleton together to help the body to move and bend smoothly. 

The role of the skeleton is to support the body, help with movement, keep organs in place, and provide protection for the organs. 

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Bones of the skeletal system:

  • Cranium 
  • Jaw bone
  • Clavicle
  • Scapula
  • Sternum
  • Ribcage 
  • Humerus 
  • Spine
  • Pelvis
  • Ulna
  • Radius
  • Carpals
  • Metacarpals
  • Phalanges 
  • Femur 
  • Patella
  • Fibula
  • Tibia
  • Tarsals
  • Metatarsals
  • Phalanges 


The cranium is the skull that holds and protects the brain and eyes. It also supports the face and gives it structure. 

Jaw bone

The jaw bone is also known as the mandible. It contains teeth and helps us to move our mouths while talking, biting, and eating. 


The clavicle is also known as the collarbones. The collar bones help to support the shoulders in movement. 


The scapula bones are known as shoulder blades.   


The sternum is known as the breastbone. It is in the center of our chest and is a flat bone that works with the ribcage to provide protection for organs. 


The ribcage holds and protects the heart and lungs. It also provides help with breathing. 


The spine is also known as the spinal column. This is located at back and provides protection for the spinal cord. The spine is made up of small bones known as vertebrae. The spine is very important as it helps to hold us up straight, alongside providing structure and support with movement. 


The pelvis is a bone that holds and protects the pelvic organs. It also helps to support the weight of the body. 


The humerus is the long bone in our upper arm. It goes all the way from our shoulder to the elbow. It works to provide movement and support.

Ulna & radius

The ulna and radius are the bones that form the lower arm. This goes all the way down from the elbow to the wrist.


The carpal bone is the bone of our wrist.


The metacarpals are the bones in our hands. 


The phalanges are the bones in our hand. 


The femur is the longest bone in the body. It supports the weight of the upper body and helps with movement. 


The patella is known as the knee cap. This is where the femur meets the tibia. It helps to protect the knee joint and connects the muscles to allow easy movement of the knee. 

Tibia & fibula 

The tibia and fibula are the bones that form the lower leg.


The tarsals are the bones that form part of the ankle and heel of a foot. 


The metatarsals are the bones that make up the center of the foot.


The phalanges are the bones that make up the toes.