Considerations on the phylogeny of the axial skeleton
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This article reviews the main trends in the evolution of the vertebrate axial skeleton, with special focus on mammals. The structure of vertebrae is exposed according to traditional and current conceptions and several examples of species-specific and topography-specific adapta tions are given. The relationships between stature and the anatomy of the bony girdles surrounding the spine are discussed. Hypotheses on the influence of gravity on axial morphogenesis are formulated.
Key words: Vertebra / Spine / Phylogenesis / Standing position / Pelvis / Nape
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