The entire frame of our body is made of bones and is called the skeleton. It is the name given to the framework of bones that holds up the rest of our body. All the bones of our body are connected to each other. The places where the bones meet are called joints.
The end of each bone is covered by a tough, smooth shiny substance called cartilage. The ends of each bone are further separated by a thin film of slippery fluid that works like oil in a car. It prevents the,bones from bumping against each other when you move. Our bones are held together by strong elastic-like bands called ligaments.
Our skeleton is very important to us. It has three main functions:
1. It protects the important organs inside our body such as the brain, the heart and the lungs. The bony part of the head is called skull. The bones around our chest form a rib cage.
2. The skeleton supports our body and gives it shape. It is like a container for all the internal organs and tissues of the body. Can you imagine what would happen to your body if you had no bones?
The skeleton allows us to move. Our muscles are attached to our bones. When our muscles move, they move the bones, and thus we move. There would be little or movement possible without the help of the skeletal system.
When human beings are born, their skeleton has around 350 bones. By the time they become adults, they have around 206 bones. This is because, as we grow, some of the bones fuse together to form one bone.