Classification of bones The skeleton is made up of many bones which change in proportion between man and his close relatives but are easily recognisable. The easiest way to classify bones is by shape. Long bones Typical of limbs, and a good place to start. They consist of a central, usually hollow, tubular region, the diaphysis linked to specialised ends (epiphysis) by a junctional region (metaphysis). Look at the shaft first. Tubular, a bit like a bicycle frame tube. Galileo was the first to write sensibly about this, noting that a hollow tube was stronger, weight for weight than a solid rod, and that the dimensions had to be related to body weight rather than area: so the bones of an elephant have to be proportionally broader than those of a man. In some bones we can see adaptations for specific forces. For example the wing bones of vultures and other large birds have strengthening that makes them very like bridges: it is a sobering thought that the first vulture predates the first girder bridge by some millions of years. The diaphysis has layers of
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This note was uploaded on 11/08/2011 for the course BIOLOGY BSC1086L taught by Professor Leostouder during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.