MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Human skeleton. Coloured historical illustration of a human skeleton, seen in rear view. At top is the skull attached to the vertebral column. The pectoral girdle with ribcage, and the pelvic girdle with hip bones are seen. The skeleton consists of two main parts: the axial (central) skeleton comprises the skull, spine, ribs and sternum breastbone; the appendicular skeleton is formed by the shoulder and pelvis and their attached limb bones. An adult human skeleton is composed of 206 bones joined by ligaments to provide a protective and supportive framework for the attached muscles and underlying soft tissues of the body.
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