Make no bones about it, the shape, size and weight of a bone or bone-like structure are designed for each animal’s needs. Here is a list of bones and descriptions of the bone(s) structure. Can you match them up? Answers are below.

Eye Sockets

1. This bone is connected to the lower limbs by ball-and-socket joints. Its shape depends on whether an animal walks upright or on four feet. It’s rounded on the former and elongated on the latter.

2. As a rule, this is the longest and strongest bone in the body. Generally, the speedier the mammal, the longer and thinner this bone is, relative to the animal’s size.

3. One theory is that these bonelike structures were lost early in bird evolution because they were heavy enough to interfere with flight.

4. This is the anatomical term for the bones that make up the shoulder blade. Only two bones make up this bony structure in birds and reptiles, which has led many scientists to believe that modern birds descended from reptiles.

5. These are closer together and forward-facing in predators, which helps them better gauge distances. In prey, they are farther apart and side-facing, which helps them to better detect predators in many directions.

6. These help to protect an animal’s inner organs. In snakes, belly scales are attached to these bones, which when pushed down and backward, helps the snake to move forward.


Answers: 1. Pelvis; 2. Femur; 3. Teeth; 4. Scapula; 5. Eye sockets; 6. Ribs