• Question: what is the most important bone in your body?

    Asked by amyr to Enda, Jean, Tim on 22 Nov 2012.
    • Photo: Jean Bourke

      Jean Bourke answered on 22 Nov 2012:

      I think it may be your ribcage. Your ribs probably count as individual bones but either way your ribcage is really important coz it protects your vital organs.

      Thought in that case you could probably argue that the skull is the most important….
      It is much easier to survive broken ribs than a broken skull. In fact it is quite easy to break a rib and though painful, it should heal quickly enough.

      Ok, I’m leaning towards skull now.

      What do you think, amyr and Enda?

    • Photo: Enda O'Connell

      Enda O'Connell answered on 23 Nov 2012:

      Hi AmyR,

      It’s hard to say what the most important bone in the human body is, but I can tell you what the least important is! Of the 206 bones in the adult human body (we are born with 270 but some of these fuse together as we grow), 205 of them are important for movement, protecting our soft organs and producing blood cells. However, the last bone at the end of our spine (called the coccyx or tailbone) is termed a vestigial structure, as it’s main function was to provide support for a tail, which we (unfortunately I think) no longer have. It is not completely useless, as it provides some support when we sit back in a chair.

      I’d say my top five favourite bones/bone structures are
      1. Skull – it protects our brain and eyes.
      2. Spine – it allows us to stand upright and protects our spinal cord.
      3. The rib cage – it protects our internal organs and helps us breath.
      4. The middle ear – the three bones called the hammer, anvil and stirrups are the smallest bones in the body and transmit sound to our inner ear.
      5. Mandible – our lower jaw holds our lower teeth, and can move against or away from the skull to help us eat food, speak and breath.

      I think my least favourite are the two nasal bones, because I broke my nose once playing football and it was quite painful when the doctor yanked them back into place 🙁