Illustration of Location of Bones in Human Body

Bones in Human Body


The bones of the human body make up the skeletal system. In humans and all vertebrates the skeletal system is an endoskeleton, meaning within the body rather than an exoskeleton seen in insects or arthropods.An adult human skeleton consists of 206 bones. To better understand the human skeleton the bones are divided into axial and appendicular. The axial skeleton forms the trunk and skull of the body while the appendicular skeleton forms the internal support of both the upper and lower extremities. The next few tables and images should better illustrate the different bones of the human body.

Axial Skeleton   Total # Bones
Skull 8 Cranium 14 facial bones 6 Auditory ossicles 1 Hyoid 29
Vertebral Column 7 cervical 12 thoracic 5 lumbar 1sacrum 1 coccyx 26
Ribs 7 pairs of fixed ribs pairs of cartilage attached ribs pairs of floating ribs 1 sternum 25

The total number of bones in the axial skeleton is 80 bones. The skull is composed of 8 cranium bones, 14 facial bones, 6 middle ear bones, ossicles, and a single hyoid bone. The vertebral column protects the spinal cord and the sections of bones from superior to inferior are 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, 5 lumbar vertebrae, 1 sacrum, and 1 coccyx.

Appendicular Skeleton Total # of Bones
Arms 2 Humeri 2 Radius 2 Ulnae 16 Carpals 10 Metacarpals 28 Phalanges 60
Legs 2 Femur 2 Patellae 2 Tibias 2 Fibulae 14 Tarsals 10 Metatarsals 28 Phalanges 60
Pectoral Girdle 2 Clavicles 2 Scapulae 4
Pelvic Girdle 2 Coxae 2

The total number of bones in the appendicular skeleton is 126 bones. The arms in the human body are composed of two humeri, two radial bones, two ulnae, sixteen carpals, seven metacarpals, and 28 phalanges. The wrist is composed by the eight meta carpal bones. The row of bones closer to the heart are the proximal row and contain the scaphoid, lunate, triquetrium, and pisiform. The row of bones in the wrist farther from the heart is the distal row composed of the trapezium, trapezoid, capitate, and hamate. The legs also have 60 bones, each composed of a femur, patella, tibia, seven tarsals, ten metatarsals, fourteen phalanges. The foot is composed of the seven tarsal bones: the talus, navicular, cuboid, calcaneus, and three cuneiform bones. Both the fingers and toes are referred to as digits. Each finger and toe contains three phalanges, except the thumb and big two which are composed of two. The arms are connected to the axial skeleton by the pectoral girdle which is composed of two clavicles and two scapulae.  The legs are attached to the axial skeleton via the pelvic girdle where the thigh bone (femur) joins at the acetabular fossa of the coxal bone. Each of the coxal bones are are formed from the fusion of the ilium, pubis, and ischium. This breakdown of the human skeleton should help to visualize the location of the specific bones.

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