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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.

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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.

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Humans:

206.

Cats:

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.

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Dogs:

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.

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Swans:

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.

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Elephants:

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

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Snakes:

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.

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Chickens:

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.)

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Hamster:

A hamster has 124 bones in its body.

Mouse:

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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