Musculoskeletal System


Key Terms - Part 1

Bone - the dense, semi-rigid, porous, calcified connective tissue forming the major portion of the skeleton in most vertebrates

Cartilage - firm, flexible connective tissue found in various forms. Reduces friction. Found in joints, ears and nose.

Ligaments - a short band of tough, flexible fibrous connective tissue which connects bone to bone

Tendons - a flexible but inelastic cord of strong fibrous collagen tissue attaching muscle to bone

Synovial Fluid - a viscous, non-Newtonian fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints. Lubricates joints. Reduces friction

Synovial Membrane - a layer of connective tissue that lines the cavities of joints, tendon sheaths, and bursae. Produces synovial fluid

Adaptation - an evolutionary trait that gives an animal an advantage in their habitat. 

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Key Terms - Part 2

Fracture - broken bones

Powered Flight - need to beat wings to fly

Canon Bone - a horse's main toe

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Muscles: Skeletal


  • striated (stripy)
  • voluntary
  • fast and slow-twitch
  • work in pairs (except for diaphragm) 
  • multiple nuclei
  • lots of mitochondria
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Muscles: Cardiac

  • never tires
  • involuntary
  • one nucleus
  • heart
  • y-shaped joined by intercalated discs
  • striations
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Muscles: Smooth

  • spindle-shaped cell
  • involuntary
  • found within organs (stomach)
  • one central nucleus
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Bones: Functions and Structure


  • protect the organs of the body (brain [skull], heart [ribs])
  • give shape to the body (frog = long legs [jumping], gorilla = long arms [knuckle walking])
  • structure and support the body (holds everything in place)
  • enable mobility (allows for complex movement)
  • produce red and white blood cells (bone marrow)
  • store excess calcium (grow a lot during adolescence, no spare, become brittle, osteoporosis)


Bones are not solid = tough matrix (lighter) and bone marrow (like jelly) in centre

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Bones: Types

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Joint Types

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Bones: The Vertebrae

Atlas - first vertebrae, allows up and down movement

Axis - second vertebrae, allows side to side movement

Cervical Vertebrae - all mammals have 7 vertebrae, neck region. 

Tender (thoracic) - connected to the ribs

Loving (lumbar) - behind the last rib to start of pelvis

Special (sacrum), above the pelvis

Care (caudal/coccygeal), the tail

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Bones - The Skeleton

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