95% of People Can't Match Each of These Animals to Their Skeleton! Can You?

By: Jacqueline Samaroo
Image: Wiki commons

About This Quiz

Dem bones! The study of skeletons has its own branch in science, called osteology. If you know a thing or two about bones, how many of these animals do you think you can name just by looking at an image of its skeleton?

Snakes are considered to be lizards that have evolved over thousands of years with their own very distinct traits. They do not have limbs, eyelids or external ears. Also, snakes can unhinge their jaws to accommodate swallowing huge prey.

Their brightly colored, oversized beaks make toucans easily identifiable. The toco toucan of the South American rainforests has the largest beak of any bird (in comparison to its body size). Its beak can grow up to 7.5 inches long, which is roughly one-third of the bird’s body length.

The name Tyrannosaurus Rex breaks down to “tyranno” (Greek for tyrant), “saurus” (Greek for lizard) and “rex” (king in Latin). In full, it becomes “King of the Tyrant Lizards.” The name was chosen by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1905, while he was president of the American Museum of Natural History.

Elephant ears and trunks do not have any form of bones in them – the ears are made up of cartilage and the trunk is made up of muscle fibers. As a result, elephant skeletons show no sign of the animal’s distinctive huge, fan-like ears and long, strong trunk.

Alligators are closely related to crocodiles. One good way to tell them apart is to look at their snouts. Alligator snouts are U-shaped, while crocodiles have V-shaped snouts.

Crocodiles are more likely to be found in saltwater habitats. Alligators, on the other hand, prefer freshwater areas, such as lakes and marshes.

The large, curling horns found on most sheep are actually made out of keratin – just like your fingernails. Like other ruminants (such as cattle, goats and antelopes) sheep have a multi-chambered stomach to aid their digestion.

Most fish have bones, while a few (for example, sharks and rays) have skeletons made out of cartilage. The biggest bony fish is the ocean sunfish which can reach lengths of over 11 feet and weigh more than 5,000 pounds.

Although many people refer to them as monkeys, chimpanzees are actually apes. They are also the closest living relatives to humans. One scientific study found that chimpanzees can learn to play “Rock, Paper, Scissors” at the level of a four-year-old human child.

Giraffes, which live in the African savanna, were known in Europe during medieval times. Perhaps based on its long legs, long neck and spotted coat, the giraffe was often called a “camelopard.”

The bold black-and-white pattern of the male ostrich’s feathers helps him to attract females. The females, on the other hand, are much more plain-looking, with brown feathers.

“Cow-tipping” is a popular rural (and movie) legend. However, according to one study, sneaking up on a standing cow and tipping it is MUCH easier said than done. A standing cow is wide awake, very alert and would require at least two very strong people (if they could get close enough) to tip it.

Horses have been around for over 50 million years. Their origin is traced back to North America, then they spread into Europe and Asia. After becoming extinct in North America, horses were later re-introduced by Europeans who colonized the continent.

Rays are close relatives to sharks and, like sharks, they have skeletons made up of cartilage instead of bone. The manta ray is the largest species of ray in the world. They are filter feeders just like the blue whale and the whale shark.

Young chickens are called cockerel (male) and pullet (female). Over one-year-old, the females become known as hens, while the males are roosters (US) and cocks (UK). Of course, all newly hatched chickens are called chicks.

When an animal’s skeleton is on the inside, as with humans, it is called an endoskeleton. Crabs, like lobsters and other crustaceans, have their skeleton on the outside and it is called an exoskeleton or, in some cases, “shell.” Insects (for example, ants and roaches) also have exoskeletons.

Piranha are well-known for their razor-sharp teeth and tendency to go into a feeding frenzy. There are about 60 species of piranha, but not all are meat-eaters – some are vegetarian.

Elk are typically around 4 to 5 feet tall, but they can reach heights of up to 9 feet when their massive antlers are taken into consideration. While female elk do not grow antlers, males grow a new set each year.

There are 8 species of pelicans of which the brown pelican and the Peruvian pelican have the boldest coloring. Although found around the world, pelicans are not in polar regions or interior areas of the South American continent.

Cats sleep twice as long as people, getting between 12 and 16 hours of sleep each day. Once a cat wakes from one of its catnaps, it stretches as a way to boost blood flow and because stretching simply feels good!

There are 54 species of seahorses, found throughout the world. The seahorse gets its name from the fact that its head and neck appear very horse-like.

The red kangaroo is the largest marsupial (animals with pouches to carry their young). The red kangaroo can weigh around 200 pounds and measure close to 9 feet from head to tail.

Frogs are very closely related to toads. While frogs spend most of their time in water, toads live on land but are found close to water. Other differences include frogs having teeth and smooth, slimy skin, while toads are toothless with bumpy, dry skin.

Most people recognize a cobra by its hood, which is formed by flattening of the neck ribs to make the snake appear larger. The king cobra is the longest venomous snake in the world and can grow up to 18 feet long.

The deer family contains 47 species and includes caribou, elk and moose. In the majority of species, only the males grow antlers. The exceptions are caribou (in which in females grow antlers, as well as males) and the Chinese water deer (in which neither sex grows antlers).

The name bullfrog is typically used for large and aggressive species of frogs. They can get up to 8 inches long and weigh more than one pound. Several types of bullfrogs are caught or raised as food.

Although many people think that penguins only live in Antarctica, they actually live on all the southern continents. The Galapagos penguin lives furthest north – on the Galapagos Islands, at the equator.

The armadillo’s armor of tough overlapping plates covers and protects its back, head, legs and tail. The three-banded armadillo is the only species which can roll itself into a ball for further protection.

Camels are herbivores and because of their thick lips, their diet can include thorny plants which other animals are not able to eat. A camel’s hump does not store water but is actually a store of fat.

Walruses can grow to weigh over 3,000 pounds. Their tusks (overgrown canine teeth) can be as much as 3 feet long. Despite their large bodies and dangerous-looking tusks, walruses are not aggressive.

Young swordfish have teeth but do not have a “sword.” By the time they reach adulthood, they are toothless and their upper jaw has elongated into a sword made up of cartilage and bone. A swordfish’s “sword” makes up one-third of its total body length.

Dogs usually walk in circles before lying down, an act that scientists say is reminiscent of their wild ancestors. Walking in circles helped wild dogs to stomp out a comfortable place to rest. It might also have been a good way to frighten away snakes and large bugs.

The lion is the second largest cat species after the tiger. Thanks to its thick mane, the male lion is one of the most recognizable animals anywhere in the world. The mane helps the lion to look more imposing and serves as protection for its neck during a fight.

When speaking about a group of rats, the term most often used is a “mischief,” but “colony,” “pack” and “plague” are all used from time to time. Adult male and female rats are called “bucks” and “does,” respectively. For young rats, either “pup” or “kitten” is acceptable.

Pterodactyls were a type of pterosaur or flying reptiles. In fact, the pterosaurs are thought to be the first vertebrates with the ability to fly. Studies show that the pterodactyls were carnivores whose diet most likely consisted of fish and small animals.

There are over 6,000 species of lizards. The Komodo dragon, a type of monitor lizard found in Indonesia, is the largest of all lizards. It can grow to be 10 feet long.

Pigs are found worldwide. They are descendants of the Eurasian wild boar and were first domesticated in China thousands of years ago. Pigs are very social and highly intelligent animals.

Bottlenose dolphins inhabit every ocean, with the exception of the cold Arctic and Antarctic Circle regions. They live in groups called pods, each of which can have over 1,000 members.

A beaver is specially adapted to its semi-aquatic lifestyle. It has closable ears and nostrils, along with transparent eye membranes.

Of all mammals, bats are the only ones that can fly. Most bats feed solely on insects, but a few are frugivores (fruit-eaters) or will eat other animals, such as fish. There is also the vampire bat, which survives by sucking blood from other animals.

Aardvarks are nocturnal mammals found in sub-Saharan Africa. Although their diet consists of ants and termites, they are not closely related to the anteater (found in South America).

A fully grown female great white shark can measure more than 20 feet in length and weigh over 4,500 pounds. Great white sharks have approximately 300 serrated, triangular teeth set out in rows.

The brontosaurus was an herbivore and one of the largest land animals to ever exist. Scientists estimate that the brontosaurus weighed up to 15 tons and measured around 72 feet from head to tail. Take note, however: the famous brontosaurus is now known as the apatosaurus in scientific circles.

Quite often, the general term “turtle” refers to all turtles, tortoises and terrapins, although the exact use of each word differs from one region to the next. A turtle’s hard, protective shell develops from its ribs and is made of bone and cartilage.

The warthog is a wild pig found in sub-Saharan Africa. The warthog’s distinctive tusks curl upward and are typically around 11 inches long. Another distinctive feature is the warthog’s “warts,” which are not real warts, but fleshly padding which protects it during fights.

The triceratops is easily recognizable, thanks to the bony frill at the back of its skull. It gets its name from its other outstanding features - three prominent horns on its massive head.

Distinguishing characteristics of humans include their erect posture, high manual dexterity and highly developed brains. Humans also tend to form complex societies and use written and spoken language.

Goats have hollow horns that curve backwards and are used as a means of defense. Goat horns are made of living bone and proteins.

The extinct saber-toothed tiger is also known as the saber-toothed cat. Its name comes from the pair of extra-long, blade-like canine teeth that grew from its upper jaw.

Gorillas are the largest of all apes. They are closely related to humans. Chimpanzees and bonobos (or pygmy chimpanzees), however, have a closer relationship to humans than gorillas do.

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