Tissues of the Skeletal System

About bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage.

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Bones

  • strong and hard
  • made up of bone cells embedded in a matrix of collagen and calcium salts
  • strong under compression forces
  • needs to be as light as possibe to reduce the weight moved about
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Cartilage

  • hard but flexible
  • made up of chondrocytes
  • is elastic and able to withstand compression forces
  • very good shock absorber
  • often found between bones and in joints

Two main types:

  • HYALINE: found at the ends of bones
  • WHITE FIBROUS: has bundles of densely packed collagen, has great tensile strength, but is less flexible than other forms of cartilage, forms the intervertebral discs and is found between the bones in the joints
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Tendons

  • made up of white fibrous tissue
  • strong but relatively inelastic
  • joins muscles to bones
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Ligaments

  • holds bones together
  • are elastic to allow the bones of the joint to move when necessary
  • made of yellow elastic tissue
  • some ligament capsules are loose, others are tight
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