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The skull is made up of 22 different bones. The cranial bones protect your brain. Just like there are joints in your knees and elbows, there are also joints in your skull between the various bones. However, the joints in your skull are immovable. They are called sutures. The sutures are noticeable on an infant; they comprise the soft spots on the baby's skull that will harden with age. In addition to cranial bones, your skull has facial bones. They provide the structure for your jaw, cheeks and nose. Some of the names of cranial bones include mandible, maxilla, palatine and lacrimal.
The sternum is an essential part of your ribcage. It is a flat bone that is shaped like a dagger. The sternum is located in the middle of your ribcage. It protects your vital organs, such as your heart and lungs. Your ribs connect to it with cartilage. There are three parts to your sternum, which are fused together. The manubrim, or handle, is at the top. The body, also known as the blade, is below the manubrim. Below the body is the xiphoid process, also known as the tip. The xiphoid process is comprised of cartilage, which grows more bony as you age.
Your ribcage consists of flat, thin bones. Your ribs are slightly curved and connect to the sternum in the middle of your chest. These 24 bones protect your vital organs. There are names for three different groups of ribs. The first group of ribs is called true ribs. These seven ribs connect to your spine in the back and to the sternum in the front with cartilage. The second group is called false ribs. These three pairs of ribs also connect to the spine in the back. However, in the front they connect to your lowest true rib. Finally, your floating ribs are the smallest ribs. These two pairs of ribs connect in the back to the spine, but do not connect to any body part in the front.
The vertebral column is more commonly referred to as the spine or the backbone. A total of 33 irregular bones form the spine. These bones are called vertebrae and they are classified into five different groups, depending on their location. The cervical vertebrae are at the top. They support your head. Going down the spine, the cervical vertebrae are followed by the thoracic vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae, the sacrum and the coccyx. The sacrum is actually a group of vertebrae that become fused together as you age. The coccyx is your tailbone, which also consists of fused vertebrae.