Thorax - transverse section

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The ribs form much of the protective cage surrounding the heart and lungs. This particular section cuts through many ribs. Note that they do not lie perectly in the transverse plane.

The 12 ribs articulate posteriorly with the 12 thoracic vertebrae of the vertebral column. Anteriorly, the 7 true ribs articulate with the sternum, or breast bone, through the costal cartilages. The cartilagenous connections permit the ribs to swivel slightly. This action helps the lungs expand more fully during inspriation.

Following the 7 true ribs are 5 false ribs. The first three false ribs articulate with the 7th true rib. They do not directly attach to the sternum. The last two false ribs ribs - floating ribs lack anterior connections to the sternum.

Key points in this image
lungs | ribs | right atrium | left atrium | right ventricle | left ventricle | serratus anterior | latissimus dorsi | erector spinae | pectoralis major |
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Module Name: thorax
Module Title: Thorax - transverse section
Image Info: Gross specimen.
Created by: Lynn Bry
Last modified: Dec 12th, 1996

Created with Annotation 1.0