Examples of Long, Short, Flat, and Irregular Bones


The bones They are the most resistant cellular structures in the human body, biomineralized from calcium and other elements, forming an endoskeleton whose role is to provide support to the entire body and protection to the various internal organs. For instance: femur, nasal bone, shoulder blade, vertebrae.

In addition, bones fulfill metabolic, homeostatic and endocrine functions, and blood cells are generated in the bone marrow contained within them.

According to the general characteristics of their shape, the bones of the human body can be classified into:

  • Long bones. As its name indicates, length is predominant over width and thickness. They are dense and strong, housing red and yellow pith.
  • Short bones. Short bones are roughly cube-shaped, contain mostly cancellous bone, and are located in the hands and feet. The patella is considered a short bone.
  • Flat bones. Flat bones are made up of a layer of cancellous bone between two thin layers of compact bone. They have a flat, not rounded shape. Examples include the skull and rib bones.
  • Irregular bones. All those bones whose shape prevents it from being classified in any of the three previous groups.

Examples of long bones

  1. The femur. Located inside the thighs, it is perhaps the longest in the human body.
  2. Humerus. This is the name of the bone that joins the elbow with the shoulder, the upper part of the arm.
  3. The ulna. Of the two spindles that connect the elbow to the hand (ulna and radius), the ulna is the longest of the two.
  4. The tibia. Articulated with the femur, it is located in the anterior internal part of the leg, next to the fibula.
  5. Fibula. Together with the tibia, bring the foot together with the femur. The fibula is much thinner and external, however.

Examples of short bones

  1. Tarsus or tarsal bones. The bones that make up the heel of the foot: calcareous, talus, cuboid, navicular, and wedges.
  2. Carpus or carpal bones. They are the bones of the wrist and the front of the hand: scaphoid, trapezium, trapezoid, large, hamate, lunate, pyramidal, pisiform.
  3. Ball joint. Located in the anterior part of the knee, it is short and spongy, in the shape of a triangle.
  4. Malar or zygomatic bone. It is located on the outermost part of the face, it is even, compact and unique to mammals.
  5. Nasal bone. Due to the location of the nose, it is a compact and even bone, and constitutes the so-called “bridge” of the nose.

Examples of flat bones

  1. Scapula. Flat, triangular and wide in shape, it is located in the upper part of the back, where both the clavicles and the humerus articulate.
  2. Occipital. Located in the lower and back part of the head, just where the skull meets the vertebrae of the spine, that is, the nape.
  3. Ilium. The largest bone in the pelvis, it forms the pelvic girdle together with the ischium and pubis, and connects the spine with each of the legs.
  4. Parietals. Quadrilateral in shape, it is a flat bone of the skull located in its upper and lateral portion, between the frontal and the occipital.
  5. Frontal. Located right on the forehead, on the top and back of the head. It is central, symmetrical and with a circumferential edge.

Examples of irregular bones

  1. Vertebrae. Located in the center of the back, they keep the body upright and protect the spinal cord.
  2. Hyoid. It is found in the neck, below the tongue, and before the thyroid gland. It is U-shaped, similar to the jaw.
  3. Temporary. A pair and pneumatic bone, located in the lower, middle and lateral part of the human skull.
  4. Ear bones. There are three: anvil, stirrup and hammer, and they are found in the eardrum. Their forms are as varied as their names indicate.
  5. Unguis or tear bone. It is located on the face, just below the front. It is shaped like a fingernail, it is compact and thin, with two faces: external and internal.