Axial Skeleton

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Above right: Axial Skeleton diagram

This is a continuation of the information about the axial and appendicular skeleton, which is often required knowledge for first-level courses in human anatomy.

The axial skeleton is the part of the human skeleton that includes the skull, vertebral column and thorax.

The axial skeleton is shown shaded greenish-yellow in the diagram of the axial skeleton on the right. (The bones shaded pink form the appendicular skeleton.)

List of the bones of the
Axial Skeleton

How many bones in the
Axial Skeleton

The number of each named bone in the axial skeleton is indicated in red in brackets after the name of the bone/s in the list above.

Adding together all of these numbers gives a total of 80 (named) bones in the human axial skeleton.

Question: So, there are 80 bones in the axial skeleton, right ?

Answer: Strictly, it is better to say that there are 80 named bones in the axial skeleton. That is the minimum number of bones in every normal, complete, human axial skeleton. However, there may be additional (un-named) bones in some axial skeletons, e.g. sutural bones - within the sutural joints between the cranial bones, or possibly even sesamoid bones.

In the case of the axial skeleton any extra un-named bones are more likely to be sutural bones than sesamoid bones because the later typically (thought not exclusively) form in the hands and feet. For information about specific types of bones see the page about bone types.

See also notes about 'how many bones in the human body ?', the structure and functions of bones, cranial and facial bones, bones of the feet and hands, bone markings and skeletal disorders.

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