KERMOAL / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KERMOAL / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Rib cage. Artwork of a frontal view of the human rib cage, showing the costal cartilages (blue, plus interchondral ligaments), and the 12 pairs of ribs (costae). These curved bones join to the rest of the skeleton at the sternum (breastbone) and the backbone (vertebral column). At the base of the sternum is a piece of cartilage called the xiphoid process. The vertebrae in the spine are separated by intervertebral discs (green). The rib cage protects the chest organs, flexing during breathing.
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