Time for another odd question. Do babies have more bones than adults? It really does seem like quite a ridiculous question to ask. After all, babies are just small humans right, and they should have the same number of bones as an adult. But here’s the thing. They don’t. Babies, despite being a fraction of the size of an adult, actually have more bones. But how is this possible?
The human body contains 206 bones, which is just enough to make an entire human skeleton as luck would have it. These bones can range from the smallest of them, in places such as fingers and toes, through to the big ones, such hips, femur and skull. Babies too have large and small bones, but they have many more of them. At birth a baby will have over 270 bones in their body. It seems almost impossible and improbable, but it’s true. So where do they go? Do they disappear like some magical illusion performed by David Copperfield, or is there a simpler explanation?
Why do babies have more bones than adults?
When babies are born they have over 270 bones in their body, but by the time they reach adult hood they have 206. So what happened to the rest? The difference between the total number of adult and baby bones is a relatively simple explanation. As you may know, when a baby is born, and for some time afterwards they have a soft spot on their head. This soft spot is actually a gap between the bones. Yes, the skull is made up of separate bones. Over time, as the body grows they fuse together to make one single bone. This can actually be seen quite clearly on skull bones, with clearly visible lines where the different fragments have joined. The skull along with many other bones throughout the body fuse together as we grow up, reducing the total number of bones in the human body to 206.