Time for day 2 of our osteology series! Today is all about the axial skeleton – the part of the skeleton that makes up your head and torso. The skull is part of the axial skeleton, but since we covered it yesterday today we will focus on the spinal column and ribcage.
The human spinal column is roughly s-shaped, and is made up of many vertebrae that can be divided into groups. The seven cervical vertebrae are located in the neck; the twelve thoracic vertebrae provide articulations for the ribs, and the five lumbar vertebrae make up the lower back. Below the lumbar vertebrae is the sacrum, made up of five fused vertebrae that connect to the os coxae, or hip bones. Below the sacrum is the coccyx, the tiny tailbone made of four fused vertebrae.
Humans have twenty-four ribs – twelve on each side of the body. The vertebral ends, or back of the ribs, connect to the twelve thoracic vertebrae. The sternal ends, or front of the ribs, are connected to the flat sternum by connective tissue called cartilage.
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