What do Giraffes and Humans have in common?
What do Giraffes and Humans have in common? Read below to find out, and learn a few things about the spine.
The spinal column is generally thought to consist of the series of vertebrae forming the skeleton along the back – it houses the spinal cord, spinal discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves.
The spinal column has several very important functions – it supports the body’s weight, provides flexibility for movement, protects nerve roots and fibers and forms a protective surrounding for the spinal cord – the main pathway of communication between the brain and the rest of the body.
Both giraffes and humans have seven vertebrae in their necks.
The first set of vertebrae (the cervical vertebrae found in the neck) are also called the Atlas. Atlas is a character from Greek mythology who, after losing a fight, was turned to stone and had to carry the weight of the Earth and the Heavens on his shoulders. The cervical vertebrae were also given this name as they carry the weight of the head.
As babies, we have 33 vertebrae but as adults we end up with 26. What happens to the nine remaining bones? Four of them will fuse to make our tailbone and five fuse to make the back of the pelvis.