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Human spine. Model of the human backbone or spine. The spine is a flexible column of small compact bones called vertebrae. It extends from the base of the skull (not seen) to the small of the back, where it connects with the pelvis (lower centre). It encloses and protects the spinal cord. There are 26 vertebrae in an adult's spine. The flexibility allows a wide range of movements, while the strength of the bone, supported by the surrounding muscles (not seen), carries the weight of the body, and provides a rigid structure.
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