The Suitcase Lady


October 24, 2017, 10:08 pm

I always explain to children at my programs that I don’t ask trick questions. I want to be an educator, not a trickster conjuring up inscrutable problems which convince many children they are stupid. But I do warn children when a question is especially difficult and assure them that no one knows all the answers.

In the spirit of the upcoming Halloween holiday, here are some frightfully hard questions about bones. Treats don’t depend on getting all the answers right.

Who has more bones, cats or people? Felines have more. Cats have between 230 and 250 bones…tails and toes account for the variance. Manx cats lack tail bones, polydactyls have extra toes. Humans have 206 bones.

How many bones are in a giraffe’s neck? The answer here is 7. That is the same number of neck bones in mice, us and all other mammals with two exceptions, sloths and manatees. Short-necked manatees have 6, the three-toed sloth has 9 and the two-toed sloth has 6.

Are animals with internal skeletons in the majority or minority on the planet? We lose, vertebrates comprise only 2% of the earth’s animal species. The other 98% are invertebrates such as insects, arachnids and mollusks.

How many bones does a shark have? None. Sharks and their cousins the rays and skates have only cartilage.

Which animal has the most bones? Snakes. These reptiles can have from 200 to 400 vertebrae with ribs attached.

Which parts of our bodies have the most bones? Our hands and feet contain more than half of our body’s bones….27 for each hand, 26 for each foot.

Who has the most bones, a baby or an adult human? The baby has around 300 bones at birth which fuse together into 206.

Which human bone is the smallest? The longest? The stapes in the middle ear is the smallest. The femur, or thigh bone, is the longest and strongest.

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