Importance of Bones
One thing all of us have in common is that inside us, underneath our skin and muscles, is a skeleton. These skeletons are made up 206 bones in most fully grown adults. The importance of bones is evident in both a scientific and historical nature. This post will briefly explore both of these areas.
Made up of mainly collagen and calcium phosphate, bone is a living and growing tissue. The collagen is the protein used to build the soft framework. Calcium phosphate adds strength and hardens this framework.
There are two parts to bone. The cortical bone is the dense and compact outer layer and the trabecular bone is the spongy inner layer.
The main purpose of a skeleton is five-fold, serving five major functions. Firstly it shapes the body. Secondly it offers support to the body and keeps your internal organs where they should be. Another function is to work with your muscles to aid movement. Perhaps the most obvious function and importance of bones are to protect your major organs from being damaged. Finally, bones contain bone marrow. This is important in the production of blood cells.
As mentioned before, the average adult skeleton consists of 206 bones. The largest and strongest bone is found in your leg, known as the femur. The smallest is called the stirrup bone. This is one of the three bones to make up your middle ear. Your hands are the body part where you will find most of your bones with 27 in each.
Up until very recently, it was thought that the human species originated around 195,000 years ago. This is due to the discovery of bones in Ethiopia in 1967. However, earlier this year, a group of archaeologists found fossils in Morocco, which have led us to believe our species actually dates back to around 300,000 years.
When bone is damaged to point of fracture, it goes through 3 phases to get back to its normal state.
- Reactive Phase: This is the point where the fracture first occurs and is followed by inflammation. Also during this phase, granulation tissue begins formation in the fracture area.
- Reparative Phase: This is where the cartilage callus begins formation.
- Remodelling Phase: This is where the bone begins to return back to its original form.
To aid these phases, a cast is worn so that the bone doesn’t move and can heal more effectively. As most casts are made of fibreglass, they need to be kept dry. Aquastop is a great product, which can be used to keep a cast dry during showering and swimming.
Avoid smoking, alcohol and spicy foods to also improve the rate of this process.
- The ankle bone is most commonly broken bone
- Evel Knievel suffered the most broken bones in a lifetime. (433 bone fractures by the end of 1975).
- Biggest bone in the animal kingdom belongs to the blue whale. Its jawbone measures an average of 7.6 feet in length and weighs up to 550 kilograms.
- The biggest skeleton ever discovered belongs to a newly found and named titanosaur. Patagotitan Mayorum found in Argentina.
- The clavicle is the last bone to complete growth at around age 25.
The importance of bones within science is fairly obvious with their different functions, but from these recent discoveries it is clear that bones play an equally important part for us to learn about ourselves in a historical sense.