Free Anatomy and Physiology Quizzes and Lessons.


The skeletal system has a whole lot of anatomy to go over, and for this I suggest you check out Dr. Ross’s guide, as it will be a very useful reference in memorizing the 206 bones within 3 days. Before you do that though, let’s cover some physiology!


Its 206 bones form a rigid framework to which the softer tissues and organs of the body are attached.

Vital organs are protected by the skeletal system. The brain is protected by the surrounding skull as the heart and lungs are encased by the sternum and rib cage.

Bodily movement is carried out by the interaction of the muscular and skeletal systems. For this reason, they are often grouped together as the musculo-skeletal system. Muscles are connected to bones by tendons. Bones are connected to each other by ligaments. Where bones meet one another is typically called a joint. Muscles which cause movement of a joint are connected to two different bones and contract to pull them together. An example would be the contraction of the biceps and a relaxation of the triceps. This produces a bend at the elbow. The contraction of the triceps and relaxation of the biceps produces the effect of straightening the arm.

Blood cells are produced by the marrow located in some bones. An average of 2.6 million red blood cells are produced each second by the bone marrow to replace those worn out and destroyed by the liver.

Bones serve as a storage area for minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. When an excess is present in the blood, buildup will occur within the bones. When the supply of these minerals within the blood is low, it will be withdrawn from the bones to replenish the supply.

Types of Bone

The bones of the body fall into four general categories: long bones, short bones, flat bones, and irregular bones. Long bones are longer than they are wide and work as levers. The bones of the upper and lower extremities (ex. humerus, tibia, femur, ulna, metacarpals, etc.) are of this type. Short bones are short, cube-shaped, and found in the wrists and ankles. Flat bones have broad surfaces for protection of organs and attachment of muscles (ex. ribs, cranial bones, bones of shoulder girdle). Irregular bones are all others that do not fall into the previous categories. They have varied shapes, sizes, and surfaces features and include the bones of the vertebrae and a few in the skull.

Bones are composed of tissue that may take one of two forms. Compact, or dense bone, and spongy, or cancellous, bone. Most bones contain both types. Compact bone is dense, hard, and forms the protective exterior portion of all bones. Spongy bone is inside the compact bone and is very porous (full of tiny holes). Spongy bone occurs in most bones.
Let’s move on to the muscular system!



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Study Tip:

The best advice I can give anyone is to pick up flash cards and study them if your free time.

If you study them while waiting in the check out line at the grocery store or in between commercials while you are watching TV, I guarantee you will increase your grade!