Calcium is the chemical element with symbol Ca and atomic number 20. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust. Calcium is also the fifth-most-abundant dissolved ion in seawater by both molarity and mass, after sodium, chloride, magnesium, and sulfate. Calcium is essential for living organisms, in particular in cell physiology, where movement of the calcium ion Ca into and out of the cytoplasm functions as a signal for many cellular processes. As a major material used in mineralization of bone, teeth and shells, calcium is the most abundant metal by mass in many animals. In chemical terms, calcium is reactive and soft for a metal (though harder than lead, it can be cut with a knife with difficulty). It is a silvery metallic element that must be extracted by electrolysis from a fused salt like calcium chloride.
Contributions by Mav, Edgar181, and Vsmith.