Encyclopedia > Spine (anatomy)

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Spine (anatomy)

The spine of a vertebrate is the vertebral column. It is divided, in most land mammals, into five sections: the cervical (neck) section, the thoracic[?] section, the lumbar[?] section, the sacrum, and the tail or coccyx.

The topmost vertebrae of the spine are the Axis and the atlas. These are specially adapted to allow a full range of movement for the skull.

The spine serves two major purposes - firstly, it gives the skeleton its strength by supporting the back, and secondly, it protects the vital spinal cord from damage.

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