Bone is the type of connective tissue that forms the body's supporting framework, the skeleton. Serve to protect the internal organs from injury. The bone marrow inside the bones is the body's major producer of both red and white blood cells.

The bones of women are generally lighter than those of men, while children's bones are more resilient than those of adults. Bones also respond to certain physical physiological changes: atrophy, or waste away.

Bones are generally classified in two ways. When classified on the basis of their shape, they fall into four categories: flat bones, such as the ribs; long bones, such as the thigh bone; short bones, such as the wrist bones; and irregular bones, such as the vertebrae. When classified on the basis of how they develop, bones are divided into two groups: en—dochondral bones and intramembraneous bones. En—dochondral bones, such as the long bones and the bones at the base of the skull, develop from cartilage tissue. Intra—membraneous bones, such as the flat bones of the roof of the skull, are not formed from cartilage but develop under or within a connective tissue membrane. Although en—dochondral bones and intramembraneous bones form in different ways, they have the same structure.

The formation of bone tissue (ossification) begins early in embryological development. The bones reach their full size when the person is about 25.

Most adult bone is composed of two types of tissue: anouter layer of compact bone and an inner layer of spongy bone. Compact bone is strong and dense. Spongy bone is light and porous and contains bone marrow. The amount of each type of tissue varies in different bones. The flat bones of the skull consist almost entirely of com pact bone, with very little spongy tissue. In a long bone, such as the thigh bone, the shaft, called the diaphysis, is made up largely of compact bone. While the ends, called epyphyses, consist mostly of spongy bone. In a long bone, marrow is also present inside the shaft, in a cavity called the medullary cavity.

Surrounding every bone, except at the surface where it meets another bone, is a fibrous membrane called the periosteum. The outer layer of the periosteum consists of a network of densely packed collagen fibres and blood vessels. This layer serves for the attachment of tendons, ligaments, and muscles to the bone and is also important in bone repair.

The inner layer of the periosteum has many fibres, called fibres of Sharpey, which penetrate the bone tissue, anchoring the periosteum to the bone. The inner layer also has many bone—forming cells, or osteoblasts, which are responsible for the bone's growth in diameter and the production of new bone tissue in cases of fracture, infection.

In addition to the periosteum, all bones have another membrane, the endosteum. It lines the marrow cavity as well as the smaller cavities within the bone. This membrane, like the inner layer of the periosteum, contains os—teoblasts, and is important in the formation of new bone tissue.