MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIKE DEVLIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spine. Model of a normal human spine seen from the side. The front of the body would be at left. The pelvis can be seen at lower centre. The spine is made of a column of 33 cylindrical bones called vertebrae which support the trunk and head and protect the spinal cord. Between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs (grey) that cushion the vertebrae from one another and allow a degree of flexibility. Each vertebra has bony processes projecting from it which provide attachment sites for muscles and ligaments. The spinal cord, nerves which descend from the brain, runs through the processes behind each vertebra. At top is part of the skull attached to the uppermost vertebra.
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