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Author Topic: Mice have no bone structure
snopes
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Comment: Spooted in the wild - a new bit of popular misinformation I've
never seen before. At www.themousedepot.com, in the FAQ it claims that
"mice have no bone structures." I'm wondering if this is a common belief
in some areas, or a transference of the bit about octopi being able to
squeeze through small spaces because they have no bones.

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Wizard of Yendor
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My understanding is that they do of course have bones, but can dislocate them to squeeze through smaller openings than they otherwise could.
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Mr. Billion
The First USA Noel


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I think I've heard that before.

Apparently, a few other people on the Internet have, too. The link the commenter provided is the only Google result for "mice have no bone structures," but you get a couple more germane results with "mice have no bone."

This site claims that they have cartilage instead of bone. Another one repeats the "no bone structure" claim.

I'm not even sure what "no bone structure" is supposed to mean. Maybe that very confusion is part of what helps move this rumor along. People don't exactly understand the phrase, and "bone structure" sounds like something scientific, so it must be an official scientific fact.

[edited to cut out broken links]

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Seraphina
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Mice do most certainly have bones, I found their dried out skeletons in my roof and garage sometime after I placed bait around.
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00-Saleen
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If you've ever seen an owl pellet, then you know that yes, mice do have bones!
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Jay Tea
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Mice have bones but they're really fine - you can just chew them right up and you don't notice! [lol]

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Winter Morning
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Mice do certainly have bones. Especially skulls. Mouse skulls go *pop* when a large cat bites down. *shudder*


Mournful

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aranea russus
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Chia
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Mice definatly have bones. I used to have to cut mice up for some of the animals at the zoo where I used to volunteer. They have very little bones, yes, but they've got 'em.

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Rexodus
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quote:
Originally posted by Wizard of Yendor:
My understanding is that they do of course have bones, but can dislocate them to squeeze through smaller openings than they otherwise could.

The deer mouse has no collarbone, so it can essentially compress its body into a straight line with all its bones almost parallel to each other. I don't know if this counts as dislocation, but it does allow deer mice to move through openings less than a quarter-inch thick.

But, as others have pointed out, they certainly have bones. And anything that has bones must also have bone structure, which usually refers to the relative density and composition of the bones themselves rather than their position in the body.

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Lainie
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quote:
Originally posted by Mournful Quail:
Mice do certainly have bones. Especially skulls. Mouse skulls go *pop* when a large cat bites down. *shudder*

Ugh.

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timbobmc
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What cats are those? Certainly not mine. They live in harmony with the family of mice which reside in my kitchen.

My SIL taught (retired) TAG science (academically gifted) classes. One of their regular activities was gathering owl pellets, opening them up, and reassembeling the mouse/vole/shrew skeleton inside. For those of you who don't know what owl pellets are, they are the regurgitated fur and skeletons of mice/vole/shrews that owls barf up after digesting the flesh of the critter. Little dense balls of stuff, they are found at the base of the tree where an owl nest is located. Virtual Owl Pellet Dissections

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
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Mice are mammals. Mammals feed their young on calcium-rich milk, and thus build strong, calcium-reinforced bones. So not only do mice have bones, we have good strong healthy ones, thank you very much!

Now can we have less talk about owls and cats, please? :shudder:.

Nonny

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Winter Morning
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quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Mournful Quail:
Mice do certainly have bones. Especially skulls. Mouse skulls go *pop* when a large cat bites down. *shudder*

Ugh.
I was only close enough to discover this disconcerting fact because I was trying to rescue said wee mickey. Thomas wasn't very happy that I was approaching and decided that it was time for the coup de grace.

It was very quick at least...

Mournful
*playing taps on the little mousepipes*

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timbobmc
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aNonnyMouse, you're safe at my house. The cats won't chase you, and I only use live traps for the catch-and-release program.

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snopes
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Comment: My boss and my assistant say that mice have no backbones and this
is why I consistently find 1 or 2 a week in my classroom. I was also told
that they come in because its too cold outside now, but other sites have
said that it's the lasck of grains and seeds outside, so I feel that they
don't know what the heck they're talking about.

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Jasini
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What would not having a backbone bring them into your classroom?

And why couldn't it be both cold and wanting a better food supply?

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Jasini

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Dogwater
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Part of it is that they have a lot of fur and muscle on top of the skeleton. Therefore, what looks like a lil' fatty of a mouse is just so much fluff.

The general wisdom I have always heard is that anything they can fit their snout in they can squeeze into. Seems to be a relatively reasonable observation judging from the barely-a-gap-between-the-doors cabinets I've found them in.

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DeKaFu
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
The general wisdom I have always heard is that anything they can fit their snout in they can squeeze into. Seems to be a relatively reasonable observation judging from the barely-a-gap-between-the-doors cabinets I've found them in.

I can't say much about mice, but I can definately confirm that for rats. [Roll Eyes]

We have a chronic escaper who can squeeze through gaps in bars that you'd swear were smaller than her head. It's incredibly disconcerting to see a 2-inch-wide rat squeezing itself through a 1-inch-wide gap.

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PallasAthena
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quote:
Originally posted by Dogwater:
The general wisdom I have always heard is that anything they can fit their snout in they can squeeze into. Seems to be a relatively reasonable observation judging from the barely-a-gap-between-the-doors cabinets I've found them in.

Same is true for ferrets.

I find it difficult to believe that someone with any knowledge of science could believe that mice don't have backbones. They are vertebrates after all and that backbone serves the vital function of protecting Mr./Mrs. Mousie's spinal chord.

Also, it is my understanding that a cat's teeth are perfectly sized to slip between those vertebrae to neatly sever the spinal chord in a single bite, and that that teeth to vertebrae size ratio is similar in all predators and their primary prey. That's some FOF lore, though.

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Kookaburra
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quote:
Originally posted by Mournful Quail:
quote:
Originally posted by Lainie:
quote:
Originally posted by Mournful Quail:
Mice do certainly have bones. Especially skulls. Mouse skulls go *pop* when a large cat bites down. *shudder*

Ugh.
I was only close enough to discover this disconcerting fact because I was trying to rescue said wee mickey. Thomas wasn't very happy that I was approaching and decided that it was time for the coup de grace.

It was very quick at least...

Mournful
*playing taps on the little mousepipes*

The same thing happens when one of the little buggers surprises you and you drop the brick you were carrying on it.

Fortunately one of the cats took care of the clean-up so I didn't have to deal with it.

But back on the topic at hand, it's hard to believe that anyone would think that mice don't have bones. They're mammals, and mammals are chordates.

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EthanMitchell
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Snopesters need to form a new advocacy group: "Reality Defenders." We could assemble evidence to prove that mice have bones, that cabbage is a plant, that a straight line can in fact connect point A and point B, and other important facts.
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Joseph Z
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Almost all animal classes have bone structures regardless of myth.

Except for several insect cultures that are too small to have bone structures. They are mostly muscular and don't need bones. Despite some cultures drinking milk out of the blue and making silly commercials that say bugs need milk to keep a healthy body good.

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Joseph Z

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Rexodus
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quote:
Originally posted by Joseph Z:
Almost all animal classes have bone structures regardless of myth.

Except for several insect cultures that are too small to have bone structures. They are mostly muscular and don't need bones. Despite some cultures drinking milk out of the blue and making silly commercials that say bugs need milk to keep a healthy body good.

Hmmm... Not really sure what you're getting at.

First, it's certianly not true that most animal classes have bone structure. Most animal classes belong to phyla other than Chordata (a.k.a. vertebrates) which is the only phylum with bone tissue. Animals in the other phyla might have mineral-based support structures (such as echinoderm ossicles) but these aren't really bones.

Second, what exactly is an "insect culture"? [Confused]

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Falsetto
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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Billion:
This site claims that they have cartilage instead of bone.

I believe that website is specifically referring to a type of mouse with a mutated or disabled gene.
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