SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Neck bones. Side 3D CT (computed tomography) scan of normal neck bones (cervical vertebrae, C1-C7). The rear of the spine is at right. These bones make up the top part of the spine. The bone at top is the atlas (C1), which has a complicated joint with the skull, allowing several types of movement of the head. Below that is the axis (C2). Below the axis are five other cervical vertebrae (C3- C7). Intervertebral discs (yellow) separate the vertebrae. The remaining vertebrae of the upper and lower back are not shown. The rear part of each vertebra is a set of bony processes. In the neck, these processes are where neck muscles attach to the spine. The spine protects the spinal cord, and flexes to allow movement of the torso and neck.
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