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Skeleton

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The skeleton is the collective name for all the bones in the human body. A newborn infant has about 300 bones but, as it approaches adulthood, many of the bones fuse into single structures and, as a result, the adult human body contains 206 identified bones.

The skeleton provides support and protection for the muscles and organs, defines the range of human movement, produces both red and white blood cells, stores essential minerals (particularly calcium) and helps to regulate the endocrine system.

Differences between male and female skeletons are subtle. In the male, bones tend to be longer and stronger for individuals of the same age and weight. In females, the pelvis is optimized for childbirth.

Diseases that affect the skeleton as a whole rather than individual bones or groups of bones are arthritis and osteoporosis.

Human skeleton at Wikipedia

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