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How many bones?

Illustration for article titled How many bones?

Today I found myself having one of those moments where you desperately need to know a generally useless piece of information. Like all other Americans with a smartphone, I whipped out my pocket internet. I was actually really surprised to discover that there are some things the internet doesn't know after all.


And what was this vitally important piece of information that I needed so badly? Here's the question I was trying to answer: How many bones does a mouse have?

Come on a journey with me, and let me show you what I learned on the internet about animals and their bones.





Between 230 and 250, depending on the cat. Some cats have extra toes (polydactyly) and some cats, like Manx and Cymrics, do not have tails. The average is 244.



The skeleton of the domestic dog has an average of 321 bones, with variation reflecting differences in the number of bones in the tail and the presence of a dewclaw, an extra digit on the paw that not all breeds have.



There are 24-25 vertebrate in a adult swan's neck, much more than the human or even giraffe. The internet does not care about how many bones are in any other part of the swan.



Since different elephant species have different numbers of thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal vertebrae, an elephant's skeleton consists of 326 to 351 bones.



Snakes have A LOT of bones. I mean, A LOT. More than humans, more than dogs, more than anything. Snakes are made of teeth, vertebrae, and ribs, and that can add up to over 500 bones.



A chicken has 307 bones. No, wait; 120 bones. No, 307! Are you crazy? It's 120! The skeleton of a chicken is probably the only skeleton we see on a day-to-day basis. How is this so confusing? (Ed note: I still do not know how many bones a chicken has.) (2nd ed note: no Shakespeare jokes, please.)



A hamster has 124 bones in its body.


The internet does not know. No one wants to count mouse bones. Why the internet should care about hamster bones but not mouse bones is a mystery.

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