The skeletal system is often viewed as a singular form; a system that has no variation, nor functions other than movement. The truth of the matter is that the skeletal system takes many forms in various species, and serves with various functions. Although movement is a major function of the skeletal system, one cannot discount the other advantages and necessities of having a complete set of functioning bones. One of the most common types of skeletons is the “exoskeleton”, which is found on creatures that have an external shell, or “suite of armor.” (Hoefnagels). In this structure, the animal has an internal muscular system which pulls on the skeleton, creating motion within the body.
In all species of vertebrates, the skeleton serves as a mold and pattern for the shape that the body will take; there are various types of skeletons, which serve individual purposes. For instance, the hydrostatic skeleton retains fluid (water) within the flexible layers of tissue to form a more flexible body; jellyfish have what is known as a “bell”, or a “…gelatinous substance constrained between two tissue layers…” (Hoefnagels). Both of these serve their own specific purpose, and suit the animal that has evolved them.
As mentioned, the function of bones is more than the singular working of movement; they provide support, but also function as protection of internal organs. For example, the rib cage is vital to the protection of the liver, kidneys, and lungs, and the chest wall acts as protection against trauma to the heart. Without these specific skeletal features, we would be highly susceptible to series injury that would more than likely end up in, if not instantaneous, then extremely painful trauma or death.
In the human body there exists what is known as the “endoskeleton” or a skeletal system beneath the muscular system. This enables the support for an upright posture and stability, much like the framing of a house – the internal skeleton works as a “frame” and foundation for the rest of the body’s development. The endoskeleton eliminates the necessity of molting, which is more efficient for the human body as we are constantly moving and our...