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The human body contains over 200 bones of different shapes and sizes.
The human skeleton
View a large version of the diagram of the human skeleton|
Each bone consists of a compact outer shell (the cortex) and a spongy inside. The inside contains the bone marrow, which produces blood cells (see diagram below).
The joints of the bones are covered in cartilage - a tough, flexible material like gristle. Cartilage is more stretchy than bone, and it allows the bones to move freely at the joints. It also cushions the bones at the joint to stop them rubbing against each other.
The structure of a bone
View a large version of the illustration of the structure of a bone|
The bones have several important functions:
Content last reviewed: 1 December 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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