Amongst the lumbar vertebrae, the fifth only is distinguishable by any peculiarity deserving of notice, its body being thicker anteriorly than posteriorly, and its transverse process short, thick, and rounded. 

 

The cervical vertebrae (french: vertèbres cervicales) are seven in number; they are smaller than those in the other regions, which results from the size of the body and processes being less than that of the corresponding parts in the dorsal and lumbar classes. The vertebral foramen is of a triangular form, and larger proportionally than in the other classes. 

The vertebral column (columna vertebralis, rachis, spina,) is situated along the median line, at the posterior part of the trunk, the length of which it determines.

These bones of the coccyx (French: coccyx), when united together, which is usually the case in advanced life, are supposed to resemble a cuckoo's bill and are therefore called coccygeal. Most commonly there are four of them, sometimes but three; in a few instances five have been found. They diminish gradually in size from above downwards, which gives them, when taken together, a pyramidal form. As they are placed in a continuous line with the inferior third of the sacrum, they form a slightly concave surface anteriorly, a convex one posteriorly.

The first dorsal vertebra is marked at each side by a complete articular surface for the first rib, and on its inferior border by a slight excavation, which receives half the head of the second : the upper articular processes are oblique, and the spinous more nearly horizontal than those below it. 

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