Flat bone

Flat bones are one of the 4 classifications of bone and are found where protection is needed or anchoring of muscles.

Clue is in the name.

The name flat bones is given for obvious reasons these have broad surfaces, ideal for providing protection (ribs, skull) or as anchor points for muscles (e.g. scapula).

4 main classifcations.

Anatomists categorise bones into four main groups, long, short, flat, and irregular (everything that doesnt fall into the first three!). There are various functions that these bones can serve:

Protection  - Our internal organs require protection, and formations such as the skull and ribs protect the brain and the heart respectively.

Blood production -  Blood cells are produced by the marrow, which is located in the medullary cavity of the long bones.


Mineral storage  - We store excess dietary minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorus, in our bones.

Movement  - Our muscles must be attached to the rigid structure of the bones in order to operate. Bones serve as levers to multiply the force muscles can exert.

Acid-base balance -  Bones absorb or release alkaline salts to buffer the blood against excessive pH changes.

Sound transduction  - Bones in the ear play a key role in hearing.


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