Osteoclasts are multinucleated cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage that degrade bone. Here, we used lineage tracing studies-labelling cells expressing Cx3cr1, Csf1r or Flt3-to identify the precursors of osteoclasts in mice. We identified an erythromyeloid progenitor (EMP)-derived osteoclast precursor population. Yolk-sac macrophages of EMP origin produced neonatal osteoclasts that can create a space for postnatal bone marrow haematopoiesis. Furthermore, EMPs gave rise to long-lasting osteoclast precursors that contributed to postnatal bone remodelling in both physiological and pathological settings. Our single-cell RNA-sequencing data showed that EMP-derived osteoclast precursors arose independently of the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) lineage and the data from fate tracking of EMP and HSC lineages indicated the possibility of cell-cell fusion between these two lineages. Cx3cr1+ yolk-sac macrophage descendants resided in the adult spleen, and parabiosis experiments showed that these cells migrated through the bloodstream to the remodelled bone after injury.