Halloween is coming soon, which means cats, bats, witches, pumpkins, andSKELETONS. Halloween is a great time to learn about bones.
A newborn baby has over 300 bones, but an adult human has only 206. Where do they go? Do they fall out? Nope! Over time, some of the bones grow together, like the bones in the skull. You may have heard of babies having a “soft spot” on their heads, for instance, whereas you have a good old solid noggin. This is because the bones of your skull that were separate when you were a baby grew together into one solid skull.
You probably already know that bones help give your body shape, protect your heart, brain, and other organs, and work with your muscles to help you move, but did you know that bones also store calcium and iron, are the birthplace of blood cells, and help your body regulate its metabolism?
Your largest bone is your femur, in your upper leg, while your smallest bones are the tiny bones inside your ears which help you hear.
Even though a giraffe neck can grow to be over six feet long, it has the same number of bones in it that yours does. Both giraffes and humans have seven bones (called vertebrae) in their necks. Yours are just a lot shorter.
Most of what we know about dinosaurs comes from their bones. Over a long time, the material in their bones was replaced by other materials like minerals. This essentially turns the dinosaur bones into rocks that are the same shape that the bones were. This is called replacement or recrystallization.
You can make your own spooky Halloween skeleton out of paper plates, just like the one up above.
To make your skeleton, cut out the pattern and trace it onto paper plates, then cut the bone shapes from paper plates. You can link the bones together with yarn and tape. No bones about it –skeletons are amazing–just like you!
Even Halloween can be a scientific experiment!