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VERTERAE 2

b) thoracic vertebrae (12)

--have facets for heads & tubercles of ribs on the transverse process and body of vertebrae

--spinous processes are long

thoracic thoracic
column ribs
thoracic thoracic

c) lumbar vertebrae (5)

--very thick; bearing much more of the body's weight than the cervical vertebrae did

--because spinal nerves leave the vertebral column at every body segment, the diameter of the vertebral foramina (and the spinal cord within) decreases from the cervical to lumbar segments

lumbar lumbar

d) sacrum: 5 fused vertebrae (the distinctions are still visible in the positions of the sacral foramina);

these vertebrae fuse before birth

--protects delicate organs, room for muscle attachment

e) coccyx: 3-5 fused vertebrae; our tailbone

sacrum sacrum
sacrum sacrum
sacrum sacrum
sacrum coccyx
sacrum