Carpals facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Carpus - animation01
Position of carpal bones (shown in red). Animation.

The carpal bones are the eight small bones that make up the wrist (or carpus) that connects the hand to the forearm. This term derives its meaning from the Latin carpus and the Greek καρπός (karpós), both meaning "wrist." In human anatomy, the main role of the wrist is to facilitate effective positioning of the hand and powerful use of the extensors and flexors of the forearm, and the mobility of individual carpal bones increase the freedom of movements at the wrist.

In tetrapods, the carpus is the sole cluster of bones in the wrist between the radius and ulna and the metacarpus. The bones of the carpus do not belong to individual fingers (or toes in quadrupeds), whereas those of the metacarpus do. The corresponding part of the foot is the tarsus. The carpal bones allow the wrist to move and rotate vertically.

Individual Carpals

The eight carpals are:

  • Pisiform
  • Triquetrum (also called Triangular)
  • Hamate
  • Capitate
  • Scaphoid
  • Trapezium
  • Trapezoid
  • Lunate

Images for kids


Carpals Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.