Axial Bones vs. Appendicular bones

Axial Bones are simply all of the bones that are found in the head, neck, chest, and spine.  In other words all of the skull bones, facial bones, all of the ribs, the sternum, all of the vertebrae, the sacrum, and the coccyx.  Bones that are not axial include those in the arms and legs and bones that connect the arms and legs to the axial bones (scapulas, clavicles, and hips).  In the image below all of the axial bones have been shaded yellow…

Axial bones are in yellow, all other bones here are girdle bones or appendicular bones

Bones that are in the arms and legs are called appendicular bones, while bones that connect the arms and legs are “girdle” bones.  The pectoral girdle consists of four bones that connect the arms to the body (right and left clavicles and scapulas), and the pelvic girdle consists of the right and left hip bones (also known as os coxae or just coxal bones).

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