The appendicular skeleton, on the other hand, as the name implies, consists of the appendages, which include the upper limbs and the lower limbs. The upper limbs include the humerus, the radius and ulna, and the carpals and metacarpals. The lower limbs include the femur, the tibia, the fibula, the tarsals, and the metatarsals. Other components of the appendicular skeleton include the shoulder girdles, consisting of the scapulae and the collar bones, or clavicles, and the pelvic girdle, made up of the coxal or hip bones, which include the ilium, ischium and pubis. The appendicular skeleton functions for helping the various joints of the body perform better and make the body run in a smoother fashion. The appendicular skeleton too functions for movement, locomotion and the performance of any tasks done by the arms, hands, legs and feet (“Axial and Appendicular Skeleton”).
Detailed Functions of the Skeleton
The functions of the skeleton include providing support for soft tissues, production of red blood cells, storage of minerals and lipids, and coordination of the muscular system to effect movement and support for the body, in order to carry out the will of the individual concerning any activity that requires physical movements (“The Skeletal System” 2013). As for support and physical movement, the structure of the bone in the form of a tubular shape with a hard and dense circumference and a hollow center is the one that efficiently and effectively affords maximum support for the body.
As for support and physical movement, the structure of the bone in the form of a tubular shape with a hard and dense circumference and a hollow center is the one that efficiently and effectively affords maximum support for the body. Moreover, in terms of the protective support that it gives the soft organs, the skull protects the brain; the rib cage and sternum protect the lungs and the heart; and the pelvis and the pelvic girdle provide protection for the reproductive system. In terms of movement, the bones provide anchorage for the muscles. The origin is where the muscle is fixed to a bone, and the insertion is the moving point of attachment. Finally, still in terms of the movement function, bones meet other bones at joints in order to allow varying degrees of movement (“The Skeletal System – Introduction” 2013). Another function of the skeletal system, particularly the bone marrow, is to carry out hematopoiesis, or the process by which a single type of stem cell gives rise to all types of mature red blood cells in the body. In the adult human being, this is carried out by the bone marrows of the skull, and those of the ribs, sternum, vertebra, pelvis, and the proximal ends of the thigh bones or femurs (Ownby 2002). In terms of the storage of minerals and lipids, the bone is where several metabolically active minerals are stored, especially calcium, which is the most abundant mineral in the human body. Calcium is essential in regulating the intracellular activities of muscle cells and neurons. Moreover, lipids are stored in the yellow marrow of the bone. These lipids are essential in the regulation of body heat, for providing heat, and as a structural component of cell membranes (“Osseous Tissue and Bone Structure” 2013). 1.3 Structure of Bone Tissue