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Skeletons, Bones and Muscles

Fascinating Facts

1.  You are born with about 300 bones but end up with just 206. Many bones, like those in your skull, fuse together as you grow.

2.  When you break a bone the damaged surfaces knit together to form new bone. Sometimes the new bone is stronger.

3.  Your thigh bone or femur is your longest bone. The tiny stirrup-shaped bone in your middle ear is your shortest bone. It is approximately 3mm long!

4.  You have the most bones in your hand! It has 54 bones to help you do amazing things including texting, writing, playing music etc.

5.  The collagen in bone constantly replenishes itself. So about every 7 years, you have a new skeleton.

6.  Your funny bone isn’t actually a bone. It’s your ulnar nerve. Hitting it triggers a surprisingly tingling, prickly pain.

7.  Another word for an artificial body part is a ‘prosthetic’. The word prosthetic is a Greek word that means ‘addition’.

8.  The earliest recorded prosthetic device was a big toe on an Egyptian noblewoman! The toe was carved from wood and would have helped her to walk.

9.  In the history of prosthetic limbs, the most famous historic prosthetic limb in history was from Ancient Rome. General Marcus Sergius lost his right hand in the second Punic War. He was given a prosthesis made from iron that allowed him to properly hold his shield and keep fighting.

10.  The most expensive modern prosthetic limb is a robotic arm and hand that can move using advanced technology. Robotic limbs like this can cost over £100,000 but 3D printing may be changing all that. Hospitals innovation units like the one at Alder Hey in Liverpool are making simple and cheap prosthetic limbs already.