Livestock Skeletal Systems

  • The skeletal system of mammal is composed of bones, cartilage, teeth, and joints.

Skeleton of Horse

Formation of Bone
  • Cartilage is a tough connective tissue that is flexible and elastic.
  • Bones are composed of calcium compounds and a gelatin-like protein called ossein.
  • Bones are living structures containing blood and lymph vessels and nerve fibers.
  • Bones grow and repair themselves if damaged.
  • Some bones have a hollow center that is filled with marrow.
  • Bone marrow may be red, yellow, white, or gelatinous.
  • The type of marrow found in bones is to some degree a function of the age of the animal.
  • Red marrow is the type that forms blood cells and may be the only type found in animals with short life spans.
  • The other types of marrow tend to form in animals with life spans greater than ten years.
Functions of the Skeletal System
  • The functions of the skeletal system are to provide form, protection, support, and strength for the body.
  • With the muscles attached, the bones of the skeleton act as levers permitting the animals to move.
  • The bones store minerals and the bone marrow produces blood cells.
Types of Skeletal Systems
  • Skeletal systems may be rigid or hydraulic.
  • There are two types of rigid systems: endoskeleton and exoskeleton.
  • The endoskeleton is found on the inside of the body.
  • The exoskeleton is typically a hard shell on the outside of the body.
Kinds of Bones
  • The two kinds of bone material, cancellous and compact, are based on structure.
  • Bones may be divided into four classifications based on shape: long, short, flat, and irregular.
  • Long bones: humerus, radius, ulna, metacarpals, first and second phalanx, femur, tibia, metatarsus
  • Short bones: digital sesamoid bones, patella, tarsus
  • Irregular: vertebra
Parts of the Skeletal System
  • The three components of the skeletal system are the axial skeleton, pectoral limb, and pelvic limb.
  • The skull, vertebral column, and rib cage are the main parts of the axial skeleton.
  • The pectoral limbs are the front legs of the animal and the pelvic limbs are the hind legs.
Joints of the Skeleton
  • Three types of joints are found in the skeleton of an animal: synarthroses or fibrous joints; amphiarthroses or cartilaginous joints; and diarthroses or synovial joints.
  • Synarthroses or fibrous joints generally do not permit any type of movement.
  • The bones of the skull are an example of this joint.
  • The vertebra are joined by the amphiarthroses joints.
  • These joints consist of discs of a fibrous cartilage that separates and cushions the vertebrae, allowing very limited movement.

Skeleton of cow
  • Avian bones tend to be thinner, harder, and more brittle than mammalian bones.
  • Long bones have more length than width and are generally cylindrical in shape.

Parts of Bone