MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Full term foetus. Coloured X-ray of a full term (9 month or 40 week old) foetus positioned ready for birth in a woman's abdomen. The foetus is seen in side view facing downwards with its head engaged in the mother's pelvic cavity; bones of the foetal vertebrae and limbs are visible. The foetal legs and arms are usually crossed and held against its body, with its spine curved for compactness. The skeleton of the mother (blue) includes her lower vertebral column (upper centre), pelvis (at lower frame) with ball joints of her thigh bones seen (bottom left and right). The foetus turns down- wards into this position and its head engages around the 36th week of pregnancy.
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