Skip to main content.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Look carefully at the bones and teeth. What can they tell you?

collage of images of bones Femur - the largest bone in your body Hands and feet have many bones Ear Bones - the smallest bones Adult Human Skeleton Human Skull

Scroll over areas above for quick images of the several sets of bones. Use these links for larger images: skeleton, inner ear, right hand, femur/thigh and left foot. Images: courtesy Smithsonian Institution

Before birth, every skeleton begins a unique "bone biography." The living tissue of bone records "life data" as a person grows, lives, and dies. Bones and teeth often withstand decay, so the data may survive long after death. Sometimes, skeletal evidence is the only way to learn about a once-living person. Watch a video about how the solid tissues in our body change as we grow and when we do physical labor.

[ TOP ]