ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Two views of the human spine. This computer artwork shows a side (lateral) view (left) and an front (anterior) view (right). From top to bottom, the human spine consists of 7 cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic vertebrae, 5 lumbar vertebrae, 5 fused sacral vertebrae, and 3-5 fused coccygeal vertebrae. Intervertebral discs (brown) form joints between vertebrae, allowing for slight movement and cushioning against impact. The discs consist of an outer layer of fibrous and cartilaginous tissue and a jelly-like centre.
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