Mice and giraffes might look like they can not be much more different from ecivicpride-kusatsu.neth other. Yet under the surfcivicpride-kusatsu.nete castle have an ext in typical than it may very first seem. 

There are thought to more than 5,400 species of mammals living on Earth. They come in all shapes and also sizes - from tiny mice come towering giraffes, and scale-covered pangolins come 100-tonne whales.

You are watching: How many bones does a mouse have

But regardless of their differences now, all mammals stemmed from one common ancestor, v the earliest mammal fossils at this time thought to date to between 220 and 165 million year ago.

Watch as an elderly curator that mammals Louise Tomsett explains the surprising similarity between mice and also giraffes.

It"s all in the neck

Mice and also giraffes live drastically various lives – no to point out that giraffes tower over mice by over 5 meters.

A giraffe"s neck is extraordinary long, making up a huge part of its height. This allows the pet to recivicpride-kusatsu.neth the pipeline of high trees. But an elongated neck is additionally integral come the courtship behaviour of "necking".


Necking entails males duelling through swinging your heads like battering rams into ecivicpride-kusatsu.neth other"s ribs and legs. Those with much longer necks usually stand come an advantage in this battles.

Despite that elongated form, the neck the a giraffe is made up of just seven large bones recognized as cervical vertebrae.

By comparison, the body of the typical house mouse (Mus musculus) is only approximately 10 centimetres long, the tail contributing much more to the overall length.


Mice, such as this yellow-necked mouse, have the same number of bones in their necks as giraffes 

However, despite outward appearances, the little rodent bears one to mark similarity come Earth"s tallest life terrestrial creature on a skeletal level.

Mice also have seven cervical vertebrae in their necks, despite extremely little compared come those of a giraffe.

Mice and also giraffes knowledgeable two very different evolutionary journeys native their typical ancestor to finish up as the vastly different animals they are today.

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With couple of exceptions, such together manatees and also sloths, practically all mammals - including human beings - possess seven neck bones. 


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