JACOPIN / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JACOPIN / BSIP / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spinal column. Artwork of a lateral (side) view of the vertebral column in a human figure. This column consists of blocks of bone called vertebrae, separated by intervertebral discs (blue). The spinal cord (not shown) runs down the space between the vertebral bodies and the vertebral processes, the bony protrusions (right) to which back muscles and ligaments attach. There are 24 articulating vertebrae (cervical, thoracic and lumbar), extending from the base of the skull (top) to the pelvic region and the two fused structures of the sacrum and coccyx (bottom). Some pelvis bones and cartilage (blue) are also shown.
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