The skeleton is necessary to provide the body with shape, structure and support. It also serves to protect the internal structures of the body. Several components make up the skeleton, including the connective tissues, bone, cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
Bone is a type of connective tissue containing several minerals. It provides support and shape to the body. Bone may be compact or spongy. Cartilage is a fibrous connective tissue containing the compound chondrin. It is found in several softer tissues of the body. Bones are connected to one another via a connective tissue structure known as a tendon. Ligaments connect bone and other connective tissues to one another.
Joints connect two or more bones or other skeletal structures together at the same point. The skeleton is divided into two parts, each part containing several structures. The axial skeleton is comprised of structures, such as the skull, the vertebral column and the thoracic cavity.
The appendicular skeleton consists of bones in the hips, legs and feet, as well as the shoulders and other parts of the upper body. The bones of the skeleton are classified by shape and size. The four areas of classification include long, short, flat and irregular. The skeleton of an adult contains 206 bones.