JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN T. ALESI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cervical spine. Labelled artwork of a sagittal section through a normal cervical spine, the part of the backbone found in the neck. The front of the spine is at left. There are seven cervical vertebrae (C1 to C7). The specialised vertebrae connecting to the skull are the atlas (C1) and axis (C2). Between each vertebra are intervertebral discs of fibrocartilage forming joints that allow the spine to bend and flex. Also labelled are the spinal cord (part of the nervous system, descending from the brain), the dura mater membrane encasing the spinal cord, and the anterior and posterior longitudinal ligaments (which help prevent excessive bending of the spine).
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