Friday, November 13, 2020

How Many Vertebrae do Humans Have?

 Humans have a lot of vertebrae, more than most animals. They are not a fixed number, but vary from person to person. Also in some cases, one can lose their vertebrae through accident or injury.

At the beginning of life, a human has about 34 vertebrae. By adulthood, they have between 24 and 26 vertebrae.

Humans also have a lot of vertebrae in the tailbone, which is no longer necessary. Humans are mammals and belong to the group 'vertebrates', so they must have vertebrae.

Humans can also have more than 26 vertebrae in the neck. If a human has an extra vertebra, it means they have a very long neck.


It's not so much the number of vertebrae that matters, but rather how they are arranged. Humans have a characteristic "S"-shaped spine with four limbs supporting it and buffering shock from movement. This arrangement is efficient for bipedal locomotion on land and makes humans more energetically-efficient than quadrupeds like horses or dogs.

The number of vertebrae is important for things like intervertebral disc spacing and the placement of spinal nerves. Humans have 24 total vertebrae including seven cervical, twelve thoracic, five lumbar, one sacral and four fused caudal.

Humans have a shorter torso and longer limbs than our primate cousins, the apes. This is an adaptation that allows for efficient bipedal locomotion on two legs.

Plus, we have thumbs and big toes! How cool is that?

I'm glad you asked because I love talking about the human body. Did you know that humans have an average of forty feet of intestines, which is longer than our total height? Isn't that crazy?

What other bipedal animals have that? None! Humans are pretty special because we can run fast, climb trees and use tools. Our opposable thumbs let us grip in many ways to hold an object or move it around.


Humans have 7 cervical vertebrae in the neck. The human spine is protected by 24 movable bones called thoracic vertebrae, all of which are separated by intervertebral discs designed to absorb shock and provide flexibility. This enables humans to bend forward without having their backs touch their legs.

Humans have 12 thoracic vertebrae in the back. They are protected by a set of 24 ribs, which produce the rib cage and expand and contract to create breathing motion.

Humans have 5 lumbar vertebrae in the lower back, with another 3 fused together into a sacrum. These are protected by strong muscles and bones.

Humans have an additional 5 fused vertebrae in the tail bone. These bones protect the coccyx.

The sacrum is the part of the vertebral column which connects to the pelvis. The topmost bone in this structure, called the coccyx, may consist of 3 or 4 fused bones.

The coccyx is the remnant of a tail which humans (and other great apes) once had. All mammals have a tail at one stage of their development.


Humans have a spine. This is made of 24 bones called vertebrae, which protect the spinal cord. The human body has 206 bones in total, which all fit together to form an internal scaffolding that supports our bodies and keeps them from falling apart.

Humans also have ribs. These are 12 pairs of bones that provide more protection to the internal organs, as they connect to the spine and other surrounding structures.

There are also bones in our arms and legs. These bones protect the muscles, which allow us to move around and do things.

As you can see, the human body is a complex structure of various different bones that work together to support and protect our bodies. So yes, humans have many vertebrae, but not too many.

There are other creatures in the world that also have a spine. One of them is the giraffe, which has very long vertebrae.

Some animals, like the snake, have no spine. Snakes are actually legless lizards that evolved to be able to move around on their bellies.

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