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Difference Between Axial and Appendicular

Axial vs Appendicular

The human skeletal system is composed of individual and attached bones, with the support of ligaments, muscles, tendons, and cartilage. The skeletal system has supportive, protective and locomotive functions. The primary component, the bones, is made up of crystallized calcium minerals arranged over and around a protein matrix, which helps to withstand stress and greater loads on the skeletal system. The classification of bones can be done according to the anatomy, the histology of the bones and functions of the bones. Here, we will discuss their functional classification, and how they are similar and dissimilar on various grounds.

What is axial skeleton?

The axial skeleton consists of about 80 bones along the central axis of the human body, and it includes the skull, which includes the cranium and the facial bones, the ossicles of the inner ear, hyoid bone, rib cage, and the vertebral column. These bones are supported by soft tissues like ligaments of the vertebral column, muscles of the face and the throat, cartilage of the ribs, and tendons of the muscles. These bones have functions of central weight bearing and protection and maintenance of posture. The skull and the ribcage protect the brain and the organs of the chest cavity respectively. The ossicles of the ear have the function of maintaining the balance of the human body. The hyoid bone is an anchor point for various muscles covering the throat as a protective function for the airways, gullet, major arteries and nerves. The vertebral column has functions in proper weight distribution, protection of the spinal cord and maintaining proper posture.

What is appendicular skeleton?

The appendicular skeleton consists of 126 bones in the body, which are arranged symmetrically on either side of the body, which include the bones of the upper and lower limbs, and their connections to the axial skeleton. They are mainly made up of long bones and other bones. The upper arm is connected to the axial skeleton by the shoulder girdle, and that is supported by a myriad of tendons, cartilages, muscles and ligaments. The thigh is connected to the axial skeleton by the pelvic girdle. The main bones of the upper limb include the humerus, radius, ulna, carpal, metacarpal, and phalanges. The main bones of the lower limb include the femur, tibia, fibula, tarsal, metatarsal, and phalanges. The functions of the appendicular bones include balance and stability, along with the main functions of locomotion and manipulation.

What is the difference between Axial and Appendicular?

Both axial and appendicular bones are made up of similar basic constituents of calcium and protein matrix. Both have functions of weight bearing at differing levels, as well as those of stability, balance, and protection of organs. But the main concern of axial skeleton is that of posture, stability and balance, whereas the appendicular skeleton is that of locomotion, digital manipulation leading to feeding, and reproduction. The axial skeleton is fused, whereas the appendicular skeleton is not fused.

The axial skeleton and appendicular skeleton contain evolutionary variations, which are important in their specified functional variation, and are equipped to fulfill the necessary function, which help to protect and promote the human species.


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