Skeleton Statistics

Skeleton Statistics


Adult skeletons have 206 bones, half of which are in the wrists, hands and feet.


At birth there are approximately 300 bones in an infant’s body.  Many bones fuse together as the child grows. The cranium (main part of the skull) has eight bones which fuse into one (usually between the ages of one and two).  The other bones that fuse together form the elbow, hip, ankle, knee, wrist and shoulder – usually following that order.


The spine


  • There are 26 vertebrae making up the spine:

  • 7 cervical vertebrae (in the neck)

  • 12 thoracic vertebrae (to which the ribs are attached)

  • 5 lumbar vertebrae (in the lower back)

  • 5 fused vertebrae form the sacrum

  • 4 fused vertebra make up the coccyx (tail bone)  

Other statistics 


    • 12 pairs of ribs.

    • The largest and strongest bone is the femur (thigh bone) which makes up a quarter of the body’s height.

    • The smallest bone is the stirrup bone in the ear.  It is between 2.6mm and 3.4mm long.

    • Large people have the same number of bones as small people but their bones are bigger.

    • Bones can respond to change.  If you take up weightlifting, your bones will grow new tissue to cope with the extra stress. 

    • The hyoid bone in the throat is the only bone not attached to any others, it supports the tongue muscles.

    • All other bones are attached to other bones by fixed or movable joints.

    • In a young child the skeleton is replaced completely in about two years. In an adult the bones remodel themselves more slowly.