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What is the purpose of a skeleton?

In this enquiry we will be learning about the purpose of our skeleton. We will be looking at animal and human skeletons, discussing what keeps our bones healthy, the different bones and muscles in our bodies and will look at how the human skeleton works. Take a look at our science display or look at some of the links below to find out more…


The human skeleton is the internal framework of the body. It is composed of 270 bones at birth – this total decreases to 206 bones by adulthood after some bones have fused together. The bone mass in the skeleton reaches maximum density around age 30.

The skeleton serves six major functions; support, movement, protection, production of blood cells, storage of minerals and endocrine regulation.


The skeleton provides the framework which supports the body and maintains its shape. The pelvis, associated ligaments and muscles provide a floor for the pelvic structures. Without the rib cages, costal cartilages, and intercostal muscles, the lungs would collapse.


The joints between bones allow movement, some allowing a wider range of movement than others, e.g. the ball and socket joint allows a greater range of movement than the pivot joint at the neck. Movement is powered by skeletal muscles, which are attached to the skeleton at various sites on bones. Muscles, bones, and joints provide the principal mechanics for movement, all coordinated by the nervous system.


The skeleton helps protect our many vital internal organs from being damaged.

  • The skull protects the brain, the eyes, and the middle and inner ears.
  • The vertebrae protect the spinal cord.
  • The rib cage, spine, and sternum protect the lungs, heart and major blood vessels.
  • The clavicle and scapula protect the shoulder.
  • The ilium and spine protect the digestive and urogenital systems and the hip.
  • The patella and the ulna protect the knee and the elbow respectively.
  • The carpals and tarsals protect the wrist and ankle respectively.

Click on the skeleton on above to find out more about the bones inside your body.

Or click here to play a skeleton game!

If you want to find out more information about your joints, click here



Why not click here to find out how we move our bones?

After completing our bone experiment, click here to find out what happens to the bones after being soaked in vinegar. Why do you think this has happened?





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