Top 10 Bones from the Human Skeleton

The Eastbourne Ancestors volunteers were having an interesting conversation today in the lab…discussing their ‘Top 10’ of Human Bones. Here is what they came up with…

#1 Ear Ossicles (Incus, Malleus & Stapes)

Described by my team as perfect and distinctive in shape.

Ear Ossicles

#2 Teeth

Although enamel coated, the dentition is a fascinating part of the human skeleton. Very useful for isotope testing, analysing diet and lifestyle.


#3 Patellas

Interesting in shape, and the bone that seems to get knocked the most often (according to the volunteers).

#4 Phalanges (Distal)

A philosophical moment by the volunteers wondering what past people touched and felt using their fingers and toes.

#5 Vertebral Column

An amazing design of puzzle-like pieces supporting the body and at the same time giving us flexibility.

#6 Pelvis

An odd-looking bone, we can analyse this bone to determine the biological sex of an individual.

#7 Femur

A classic example of a bone, recognised by all (possibly due to the ‘skull & crossbones’ pirate flags). We can analyse this bone to determine the stature of an individual.

#8 Clavicle

A student (Tori) was studying these bones for her MSc Bio Anth and ever since the volunteers have been interested in the physics and mechanics of this element.

Exeter MSc Student

#9 Sphenoid

One of my favourites (mainly because it looks like a gremlin. I don’t have a sensible answer).

Sphenoid (juvenile without greater wings)

#10 Skull

This is the element that people seem to connect with the most, the one that draws the most emotive response.


What’s your  favourite?

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3 Responses to Top 10 Bones from the Human Skeleton

  1. A says:

    I’d never heard the sphenoid called a gremlin before! How cute!

  2. piaspry says:

    Great post! I should do one for the Top 10 Bones from, for example, the Cervid Skeleton 🙂

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