When studying the skeletal system, the bones are often sorted into two broad categories: the axial skeleton
and the appendicular skeleton. This lab focuses on the axial skeleton, which consists of the bones that form
the axis of the body. The axial skeleton includes bones in the skull, vertebrae, and thoracic cage, as well as
the auditory ossicles and hyoid bone.
In addition to learning about all the bones of the axial skeleton, it is also important to identify some significant
bone markings. Bone markings can have many shapes, including holes, round or sharp projections, and
shallow or deep valleys, among others. These markings on the bones serve many purposes, including forming
attachments to other bones or muscles and allowing passage of a blood vessel or nerve. It is helpful to
understand the meanings of some of the more common bone marking terms.
Before we get started, look up the definitions of these common bone marking terms:
Foramen: (see Module 10.18 Foramina of Skull)
Throughout this exercise, you will notice bold terms. This is meant to focus your attention on these important
words. Make sure you pay attention to any bold words and know how to explain their definitions and/or where
they are located.
Use the following modules to guide your exploration of the axial skeleton. As you explore these bones in
Visible Body’s app, also locate the bones and bone markings on any available charts, models, or specimens.
You may also find it helpful to palpate bones on yourself or make drawings of the bones with the bone
markings labeled. The drawings don’t have to be perfect; just make sure the different bone markings are in
the correct locations, relative to each other.
If you have trouble finding a bone or bone marking, don’t forget you can always type its name into the search
bar to get a list of 3D anatomical views where that bone or bone marking is highlighted for you.
To access disarticulated bones with color-coded bone markings, select a bone and then, in the content box,
choose the landmark icon, which shows a bone with pink, yellow, and blue ends.