There room thought to more than 5,400 species of mammals living on Earth. Castle come in every shapes and also sizes - from small mice to towering giraffes, and also scale-covered pangolins to 100-tonne whales.
You are watching: How many vertebrae does a giraffe have
But despite their differences now, every mammals stemmed indigenous one common ancestor, through the faster mammal fossils currently thought to day to between 220 and 165 million year ago.
Watch as senior curator that mammals Louise Tomsett explains the how amazing similarity in between mice and also giraffes.
It"s all in the neck
Mice and also giraffes live drastically various lives – no to cite that giraffes tower end mice by over five meters.
A giraffe"s neck is especially long, making up a big part that its height. This permits the animal to reubraintv-jp.comh the pipeline of high trees. But an elongated neck is likewise integral come the courtship behaviour of "necking".
Necking entails males duelling by swinging their heads like battering rams right into eubraintv-jp.comh other"s ribs and also legs. Those with much longer necks typically stand to an advantage in this battles.
Despite that is elongated form, the neck that a giraffe is comprised of just seven large bones known as cervical vertebrae.
By comparison, the human body of the typical house computer mouse (Mus musculus) is only about 10 centimetres long, its tail contributing an ext to the overall length.
Mice, such together this yellow-necked mouse, have the same variety of bones in your necks as giraffes
However, regardless of outward appearances, the small rodent bear one to mark similarity to Earth"s tallest living terrestrial creature on a skeleton level.
Mice additionally have 7 cervical vertebrae in your necks, despite extremely tiny compared to those the a giraffe.
Mice and giraffes skilled two really different evolutionary journeys from their typical ancestor to end up together the vastly different animals they are today.
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With few exceptions, such as manatees and sloths, prubraintv-jp.comtically all mammals - including humans - possess 7 neck bones.
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