A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the vertebral skeleton. Bones support and protect the various organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals and also enable mobility. Bone tissue is a type of dense connective tissue. Bones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a complex internal and external structure. They are lightweight yet strong and hard, and serve multiple functions. Mineralized osseous tissue or bone tissue, is of two types – cortical and cancellous and gives it rigidity and a coral-like three-dimensional internal structure.
Other types of tissue found in bones include marrow, endosteum, periosteum, nerves, blood vessels and cartilage. In the human body at birth, there are over 270 bones, but many of these fuse together during development, leaving a total of 206 separate bones in the adult, not counting numerous small sesamoid bones. The largest bone in the body is the thigh-bone (femur) and the smallest is the stapes in the middle ear.
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