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What's the Strongest Bone in a Dog's Body?

When we're looking at a dog, we are admiring the complex sum of bones, muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and skin. The dog's bones and muscles are what give the dog's body support and its distinctive framework. Just like us, a dog's bones are made of calcium and minerals so to make them strong, allow locomotion and protect the otherwise vulnerable vital organs they enclose. Among the several bones that dogs have, there is one bone is particular that is considered to be the strongest of all. Today's trivia question is therefore:

Which bone of the dog's body is the strongest of all?

A Jaw bone

B Femur bone

C Temporal bone

D Pelvic bone

The correct answer is: drum roll please:


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The correct answer is: C, the temporal bone

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For those who answered that a dog's strongest bone is the femur, they were very close. The femur is often considered the longest bone of the body and the one that is very strong as it plays a big role in locomotion; however, if there ever was a contest for the strongest bone in dogs (and people too!), the temporal bone would win first prize.

According to expert researchers James F. Zachary and M. Donald McGavin, authors of the book "Pathologic Basis of Veterinary Disease" the petrous portion of the temporal bone is referred to as "the strongest bone of the body."

Hard as Rock

dog skull

The temporal bone in dogs is a flat piece of bone situated on the sides of the dog's skull. It encloses the dog's inner ear and its associated little ossicles. Its petrous portion is known to be one of the densest bones of the body.

Just think that the term "petrous" comes from the Latin word petrosus, which means "stone-like, hard."

This piece of bone is one that is easily retrieved in archaeological findings due to its high density. This bone's strategic position therefore protects the dog's hearing and balance systems.

Did you know? From an archaeological perspective, the petrous bone is quite valuable. Not only it is dense, and as such, long lasting, but it's also good in carrying DNA. Consider that when you try to get DNA from a fossil, most will come from microbes rather than the animal, but, according to an article on The Atlantic, when you are dealing with a sample of petrous bone, you have a chance as high as 80 percent that the DNA will be from the actual animal.

idea tip


  • 14 Fun Facts About Ears: A 15-Minute Book: Educational Version, By Jeannie Meekins, (October 2, 2011)
  • Science Kids, Fun Ear Facts for Kids, retrieved from the web on July 5th, 2016
  • The Atlantic, A New Origin Story for Dogs, retrieved from the web on July 5th, 2016

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