It seems that in this mighty battle, it’s the child who wins. A baby’s born with about 300 soft bones; on growing older, some of them harden and others join together. The disparity between the adult and child bone count is due to the fusion of the small bones in the child’s skull, vertabral column, coccyx bone, and pelvis. For example, the four nethermost vertebrae glue together to form the coccyx.

At the age of 20 there usually only remain about 206 distinct bones. Those of the hands and feet represent more than the majority – there are 27 bones in each foot, and 26 in each hand. 24 in the vertebral column, 24 in the ribs, 22 in the head…

The longest bone is undoubtedly the femur (50 cm long in a man 1.8 meters tall, or for the metrically challenged about 20 inches for a 6 foot man), with the smallest being the miniscule stirrup bone in the ear, which measures in at a mere 3mm.