I find skeleton drawings fascinating. They show you the true structure and shape of the animal and there’s that small bit of creepy Halloween-ness to them. This cat skeleton drawing takes it a step further by including the silhouette of the animal as well.
Horace Jayne (1859-1913) included this cat skeleton drawing in his 1898 work entitled Mammalian Anatomy. He did not identify who drew the illustrations that were included. He wrote that a cat’s body has 43 bones in the head, 59 bones in the vertebral column (including 29 in the tail) and 34 bones in the chest. Their front legs are made up of 42 bones from the shoulder down to their toes; there are 40 bones in their back or pelvic limbs. If I am understanding the explanation between an axial skeleton (head and trunk) and the appendicular skeleton (the two pairs of limbs), a cat has a total of 300 bones in their body. Seems amazing considering how small they are and considering we only have 206.
If you prefer looking at cats from the outside – don’t miss our selection of free vintage cat images.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.