Sunday, May 10, 2009

How Many Bones in a Giraffe's Neck?

Well, this is the place in Paris to find the answer. This is La Galerie de PalĂ©ontologie at Le MusĂ©e National d'Histoire Naturelle (that's French for bone museum). "A Night at the Museum" would be a very different movie if it happened here. Or maybe not, I never actually saw the movie. Most of you voted for twenty-one vertebrae in a giraffe's neck. And...most of you were wrong. If you take a close look, you'll see that a giraffe has only seven bones from its head to its shoulders. Amazingly, so do you. Yours are just a wee bit shorter is all.


All that height is good for a giraffe in the wild. It lets them eat the tasty leaves that others can't reach and they can see when pesky meat eaters may be lurking nearby.

So, have you ever wondered what a pod of whale zombies might look like? Wonder no more.

Have you ever seen a cuter skull? Be honest now. It's from a tiny monkey called a Buffon macaque.

Two mouths. Two noses. Two eyes. Too bad it is too hard to live like that.

Birds have bones, of course, but did you know they are hollow so the heavy bones don't keep them from flying?

Sure, you've seen a sand dollar. But how about a millions-of-years old sand bank?

Don't forget humans are animals too.

This is a dragonfly fossil. A really big dragonfly fossil. A nearly two-foot wide dragonfly fossil. Imagine that, a dragonfly as big as a hawk.

This may be France, but Madagascar pops up everywhere. There are two bird skeletons in this photo, but these bird bones aren't hollow? Hey, you lied to us! You said birds have hollow bones, so they can fly? Right, but these birds don't fly. The smaller one on the left is a large ostrich. So, if the small one is an ostrich what the heck is the big one? That's a big ol' elephant bird from Madagascar. They are extinct, but they are one of the largest birds ever to walk the Earth. It weighs as much as 125 big chickens. It is as tall as 30 robins. And a whopping 14,000 hummingbird eggs could fit inside just one elephant bird egg. Yeah, 14,000!

Enough elephant bird eggs to hold 84,000 baby hummingbirds.

The glytodon. This extinct fellow is no ordinary armadillo. He is taller than I am.

And what bone museum would be complete without a vicious pointy-toothed dinosaur? 

3 comments:

Littlebrook Kids said...

Hi Mr. Lebo,
The giraffe's neck is maybe six or seven or eight bones. How was it in Madagascar? It was great? What animals have you seen?
from
Andrew, 5th

Mr. Lebo said...

Dear Andrew,

Well, I've seen a lot of animals, but believe it or not I have not seen any lemurs. That is until I took a trip last weekend. The next post will be full of all kind of animals, so check back soon.

Maddie said...

Hi-
See Night at the Museum NOW!!!
It is AWESOME!

-Maddie

P.S. Night at the Museum 2 comes out next week.