Introduction to the Skeletal System: Structure and Functions

Marketing Dept., | 8 min read
Marketing Dept., | 8 min read

The skeletal system is fundamental to the human body, providing support, protection, and facilitating movement. It also plays vital roles in mineral storage, blood cell production, and endocrine regulation. In this blog post, we'll delve into the structure and functions of the skeletal system, provide practical examples of its importance, and discuss how JoVE.com can aid in studying this essential biological system.

What is the Skeletal System?

The skeletal system consists of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and other connective tissues. It forms the framework of the body, supporting and protecting various organs. The human skeleton is divided into two main parts:

  1. Axial Skeleton: Includes the skull, vertebral column, and rib cage. It supports and protects the brain, spinal cord, and thoracic organs.
  2. Appendicular Skeleton: Comprises the limbs and girdles (shoulder bones and pelvic bones) that attach the limbs to the axial skeleton, facilitating movement.

Functions of the Skeletal System

The skeletal system performs several crucial functions:

  1. Support: Provides a structural framework for the body, supporting soft tissues and providing attachment points for muscles.
  2. Protection: Shields vital organs such as the brain, heart, and lungs from injury. For example, the skull protects the brain, and the rib cage safeguards the heart and lungs.
  3. Movement: Works in conjunction with the muscular system to facilitate movement. Bones act as levers, and joints function as fulcrums, allowing for various types of motion.
  4. Mineral Storage: Stores essential minerals, primarily calcium and phosphorus, which can be released into the bloodstream as needed.
  5. Blood Cell Production: The bone marrow, located within certain bones, produces red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in a process called hematopoiesis.
  6. Energy Storage: Yellow bone marrow stores fats, which can be used as an energy reserve.
  7. Endocrine Regulation: Bones release hormones that help regulate blood sugar and fat deposition.

Practical Examples of the Skeletal System's Importance

Here are some examples of Skeletal System:

  • Fracture Healing: Bones have the remarkable ability to heal after fractures. The process involves the formation of a blood clot, the creation of a soft callus, followed by a hard callus, and finally bone remodeling.
  • Osteoporosis: This condition, characterized by weakened bones, highlights the importance of bone density and mineral storage. It often leads to fractures and requires management through diet, exercise, and medication.
  • Arthritis: Inflammation of the joints, or arthritis, illustrates the critical role of cartilage and ligaments in maintaining joint function and mobility.

How JoVE.com Helps in Studying the Skeletal System

JoVE.com provides a wealth of resources that make learning about the skeletal system engaging and accessible. Here’s how JoVE can support your studies:

  1. Visual Learning: High-quality videos on JoVE illustrate the structure and functions of the skeletal system, making complex concepts easier to understand.
  2. Interactive Content: JoVE’s interactive elements help reinforce learning and ensure comprehensive understanding.
  3. Expert Insights: Learn from experienced educators and researchers who explain the intricacies of the skeletal system.
  4. Supplemental Materials: Access quizzes, articles, and protocols that complement the video content, providing a well-rounded educational experience.


The skeletal system is essential for providing structure, protection, and enabling movement in the human body. Its roles in mineral storage, blood cell production, and endocrine regulation further emphasize its importance. Utilizing resources like JoVE.com can significantly enhance your knowledge, offering clear, visual explanations and practical insights into the skeletal system. Explore JoVE’s extensive content to deepen your understanding and excel in your studies of human anatomy.


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