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Giraffe neck issue

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251446.  Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:26 am Reply with quote

I think I have found a contradiction:

In the Book of General Ignorance, on page 179 under the question "Which has most neck bones, a mouse or a giraffe?" it states that "they both have seven neck vertebrae, as do all mammals".

However, in the Book of Animal Ignorance, on page 84 under the Giraffe section, it states "the giraffe's neck has evolved with one more vertebra than other mammals, at the point where it joins the chest".

Which book, if any, needs correcting?

Thanks guys.

251473.  Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:27 pm Reply with quote

Most sources I'm reading now state that giraffe have 7 cervical vertebrae; however, I have a funny feeling that it is 8. So you can either go on reputability, or the gut instinct of an emoticon. :-P

251475.  Wed Jan 02, 2008 12:28 pm Reply with quote

This picture also suggests that the number is 7.

251489.  Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:11 pm Reply with quote

It looks as though even the expert anatomical community isn't entirely sure on the matter. At first sight this seems rather an odd thing - you'd have thought that clever scientists wouldn't have too much trouble counting up to seven or, as the case may be, eight.

This abstract suggests that giraffes do indeed have an extra one, but other sources - including the picture above - don't seem to think so.

251505.  Wed Jan 02, 2008 1:53 pm Reply with quote

Well, I'm no camelopardologist, but it looks to me as though there's no contradiction. It has seven vertebrae in its neck, as do other mammals, and an extra one where the neck joins the body. This is visible in the picture above and fits fine with the line from The Book of Animal Ignorance - "the giraffe's neck has evolved with one more vertebra than other mammals, at the point where it joins the chest".

251990.  Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:03 pm Reply with quote

Aah, i see. So the giraffe, like other mammals has 7 vertebrae in its neck but an extra one on its chest. Thank you for sorting that one out.

673816.  Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:10 pm Reply with quote

I count 7 cervical vertebrae in my giraffe skeleton picture. They are humongously long, though.

Sadurian Mike
675923.  Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:29 pm Reply with quote

They have to be. Otherwise the head goes all floppy because they don't reach the skull.

Melanie Foster
891851.  Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:41 am Reply with quote

Just like humans and most mammals, a giraffe has seven neck bones. But those are really, really BIG bones.
A mouse has seven too but they are small.

Last edited by Melanie Foster on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:08 am; edited 2 times in total

891862.  Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:02 am Reply with quote

Melanie Foster wrote:
A mouse has seven too but they are small.

Are they small or just far away?

891877.  Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:05 am Reply with quote

You're thinking of cows :)


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