Osteology Bones

The sacrum, much the largest piece of the vertebral column, is placed, when the body is in the erect position, at the superior and posterior part of the pelvis, beneath the last lumbar vertebra, above the coccyx, and between the ossa innominata, between which it is inserted, in some measure like a keystone into an arch. 

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. 

The true vertebra are divided into three sets, named from the regions they occupy, cervical, dorsal, lumbar. They present, 1. certain general characters by which they may at once be distinguished from bones of any other class; 2. those of each region (cervical, dorsal, lumbar,) exhibit peculiar characters by which they are severally distinguished ; 3. certain vertebras present special or individual characters.

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 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.

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