What bones make up the axial skeleton?
The word "Axial" is taken from the word "axis" and refers to the fact that the bones are located close to or along the central "axis" of the body.
The axial skeleton consists of all the bones except those found in the arms and legs.
In humans, it consists of 80 bones and is composed of eight parts; the skull bones, the ossicles of the middle ear, the hyoid bone, the rib cage, sternum and the vertebral column.
The rib cage is composed of 12 pairs of ribs plus the sternum for a total of 25 separate bones.
The human skull consists of the cranium and the facial bones. The cranium is formed from eight plate-shaped bones which fit together at meeting points (joints) called sutures. In addition there are 14 facial bones which form the lower front part of the skull.
Here is how the vertebrae are counted: 24 separate vertebrae and the sacrum, formed from 5 fused vertebrae and the coccyx, formed from 3-5 fused vertebrae. If you count the coccyx and sacrum each as one vertebra, then there are 26 vertebrae.