SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SOVEREIGN, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Neck bones. Oblique 3D CT (computed tomography) scan of normal neck bones (cervical vertebrae, C1- C7). This view is halfway between a side view and a frontal view, showing the holes through which nerves branch off the spinal cord. 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). Descending downwards from the axis are five other cervical vertebrae (C3-C7). Intervertebral discs (brown) separate the vertebrae. 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 allows movement of the torso and neck.
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