MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Diaphragm, historical anatomical artwork. This view shows the upper surface of the diaphragm, the dome-shaped muscle at the bottom of the thoracic cavity. When it contracts, it moves downwards and enlarges the cavity, drawing air into the lungs. The aorta (a major artery) and vena cava (a major vein) pass through spaces in the diaphragm (seen at centre, top). The ribcage can be seen surrounding the diaphragm. This illustration is taken from the 19th century French textbook The Atlas of Human Anatomy and Surgery by J. M. Bourgery and N. H. Jacob.
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