THE SKELETAL SYSTEM SERVES as the supporting framework of the body and performs several other important functions as well. The body shape, mechanisms of movement, and erect posture observed in humans would be impossible without the skeletal system. Two very strong tissues, bone and cartilage, compose the skeletal system.
Functions of The Skeletal System
The skeletal system performs five major functions:
- Support. The skeleton serves as a rigid supporting framework for the soft tissues of the body.
- Protection. The arrangement of bones in the skeleton provides protection for many internal organs. The thoracic cage provides protection for the internal thoracic organs including the heart and lungs; the cranial bones form a protective case around the brain, ears, and all but the anterior portion of the eyes; vertebrae protect the spinal cord; and the pelvic girdle protects some reproductive, urinary, and digestive organs.
- Attachment sites for skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are attached to bones and extend across articulations. Bones function as levers, enabling movement at joints when skeletal muscles contract.
- Blood cell production. The red bone marrow in spongy bone produces formed elements.
- Mineral storage. The matrix of bones serves as a storage area for large amounts of calcium salts, which may be removed for use in other parts of the body when needed.