Cats vs. Humans
At first glance, it might look as if there are very few similarities between a human skeleton and a cat skeleton, However, when you look a little deeper, you find many similarities in shape, structure and function. Evolution has shaped the cat as a hunter and predator. Everything about a cat has been formed to shape a leathal, agile fighting animal. In contrast, the skeletons of humans have formed to provide strength and stability. There are many similarities between the modern-day cats and humans. Like nearly every land mammal, both cats and humans have a well-formed skull and jaw, a vertebral column and four appendages. The most obvious difference between a cat and human skeleton is the size. At nearly 20 times the size of the average domestic cat, a human is a lot larger and way more powerful. Humans are built to walk on two legs. Therefore, their hips and backbone are shaped much differently and are much more solid than those of the four legged feline. Although humans are much larger, a cat has roughly 250 bones in its skeleton, compared to the 206 bones of the human skeleton. The extra bones in the cat's skeleton are found mainly in the backbone, which gives the cat its extra flexibility and agility. A cat has 52 or 53 vertebrae; humans have 32 to 34. These extra bones are spaced out and have more padding, giving the cat flexibility and the ability to twist, turn and spring. Humans have collarbones, while cats do not. However, cats do have a free-floating set of bones in their shoulders that allow them to squeeze into tight spaces.
In both cats and humans, the skeleton provides the same basic set of functions. Because of the density and hardness of bone, the skeleton provides the rigid framework to which other body systems attach. The skeleton determines the basic shape of a body. The skeleton also serves as protection for vital organs, such as the brain, heart and lungs. Because of the structure of the skeleton, it is the basis...
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