This section is from the book "Human Physiology For The Use Of Elementary Schools", by Charles Alfred Lee. Also available from Amazon: Human Physiology, for the Use of Elementary Schools.
53. The leg below the knee, is composed of two bones, tibia and fibula, of a three cornered or angular shape, like these of the fore arm ; and the design no doubt is, to form a pillar of greater strength than one bone would make.; and. also to furnish a greater surface for the origin and attachment of the numerous muscles required for the feet. The ankle, like the wrist, the elbow, and the knee, is a perfect hinge of great strength. In front of it there is a narrow strap, or ligament, which binds down the cords which go to move the toes. There is a small groove just within the inner ankle, for the passage of a tendon, exactly like a little pulley. The heel is a lever for those strong muscles to act by, which form the calf of the leg. It is the action of these museles, pulling on the heel, that lifts the body, in walking, dancing, standing on the toes, dec. In the negro, the heel is longer than in any other race of mankind.
-54. The bones of the foot are divided into the tarsus, which is composed of seven bones, reaching from the heel to the middle of the foot. The metatarsus consists of five long bones, parallel to each other, which extend from the tarsus to the roots of the toes. The bones of the toes are called phalanges, from being in the form of a phalanx. There are in all thirty six bones in the foot, and as each bone forms a joint, and as each joint not only permits motion, but bestows elasticity, the obvious design of this number is to render the foot elastic, and thus save the body from shocks. It should be recollected that each bone is tipped with cartilage, that the fibres composing cartilage are disposed longitudinally or perpendicularly to the surface of the bone and the pressure made upon it.; thus acting like an infinite number of springs of the most delicate structure. Besides this, the foot is a double arch ; it is arched from the toes to the heel, and from side to side, and the bones are so wedged together, and bound to each other by ligaments, that solidity is combined with elasticity and lightness.
55. In reviewing the human skeleton, we cannot but remark the nice adaptation of all the parts to each other, and to the shares which they have respectively to bear ; how the objects of strength and lightness are combined, and how the nature and strength of material in different parts are so admirably adapted to the purposes which the parts are designed to serve. No one can contemplate the marks of wisdom and design displayed in the osseous fabric, without being led insensibly to acknowledge the hand of an all wise and benevolent Master Builder.
Of how many bones does the human skeleton consist ? How are they divided ? What is a natural skeleton ? What an artificial ? What uses does the skeleton serve ? What bones are said to be -symmetrical ? How many bones are there in the head ?-in the trunk ?-in the upper extremities ?-in the lower ? How does the skeleton compare with works of human art ? How is the brain protected from injuries ? How many plates do the bones of the skull contain ? What changes does age produce in the bones of the skull ? What are the sutures ?-what their use ? To what does Sir Charles Bell compare the skull ? How does it resemble a dome ? What are the principal sutures ? Describe the frontal bone. What is said of the national peculiarities in the shape of the head ? What shaped heads had the ancient Egyptians ? Does the texture of skulls vary ? What changes occur in the thickness and weight of the bones of the skull ? What is said of the cavity of the cranium ? What is formed first, the brain or the skull ? What uses does the spine serve ? Of how many bones does it consist ? What are they called ? How divided ? Describe a vertebra. What sort of substance is placed between the vertebrae ?-its use ? Why is the spine curved like an / ? What is the spine disease ?-its causes ?- its cure ? What effect have mechanical remedies ? Do boys ever have it ? Describe the thorax. How many ribs are there ? What are true ribs ? What false ? Which are the largest ? Where is the sternum situated ? Describe it. What is the use of the cartilages between the sternum and ribs ? What is the next division of the trunk ? What is the pelvis ?-Of how many bones composed ? What its use ? The last division t Where is the clavicle ?-its use ? Describe the scapula,-its use ? Is great freedom of motion compatible with great strength in a joint? Describe the os humeri. Of how many kinds of motion susceptible ? Describe the fore arm ?-the radius ? -the ulna. What is the contrivance for rotating the arm ? What is the olecranon ?-its use ? In graminiverous animals, how are these bones constructed ? How can the anatomist tell to what kind of animal any bone belongs 1 How many bones are there in the hand ? -how many in the wrist ? What is said of the thumb ?-Of the fingers ? What are the bones of the lower extremity ? Describe the hip joint?-the knee. Does the pressure of the atmosphere affect the joints ? Describe the leg below the knee?-the ankle. How are the bones of the foot divided ? How' many bones in the tarsus ?-the metatarsus ?-the phalanges ?-the foot ? What is the use of so many bones ? What is the use of the arched form of the foot ?