Spinous process

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Bone: Spinous process
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A cervical vertebra. (Spinous process labeled at bottom.)
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Side view of a typical cervical vertebra. (Spinous process labeled at right.)
Latin processus spinosus vertebrae
Gray's subject #20 97

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Overview

The spinous process of a vertebra is directed backward and downward from the junction of the laminae (in humans), and serves for the attachment of muscles and ligaments. In animals without an erect stance, the process points upward and may slant forward or backward. Spinous processes are exaggerated in some animals, such as the extinct Dimetrodon and Spinosaurus, where they form a sail- or finback.

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This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.



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