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Re: Anatomical terminology

----- Original Message -----
From: "Teoslola" <bkazmer39@yahoo.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2001 10:51 AM
Subject: Re: Anatomical terminology

> In all the Human Anatomy, Osteology, and Anthrolpology
> classes I have taken (my minor) we have used these
> "new" terms for many years now (over 20 years!).
> By definition aren't all vertebrae dorsal? So we
> wouldn't call any vertebra 'dorsal' so just simply
> caudalmost or even distalmost is permissible.

Just to add to the confusion -- no. In mammals, such as humans, vertebrae
are grouped as cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), lumbar, sacral and...
however that fused remnant of the tail is called; in most other tetrapods,
there is no difference between thoracic and lumbar vertebrae, so these are
lumped as "back vertebrae" -- dorsal ones, and people didn't have enough
fantasy to invent a second adjective for that. All dorsal vertebrae,
however, are proximal by definition, so one has to use cranial and caudal
(or anterior and posterior, the meanings of which are clear _in this case_).

Hope this helps more than it confuses...