Fundamental Anatomy by W. Hartwig

By W. Hartwig

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Each somite of mesoderm contributes to two vertebrae by cleaving of the sclerotomes (B). In this way, each muscle cluster derived from a somite can span a vertebral space. As the sclerotomes from each side merge in the midline to form vertebral bodies, they cannibalize the notochord (C). The notochord persists in the spaces between adjacent vertebral bodies, where it becomes subsumed in an articular disc. 35 In the trunk of the body, you have a group of muscles that connect one vertebra to another.

The longitudinal fold also creates an interesting loop in the dorsal aorta. Before the fold, the dorsal aorta plugged into the heart tube from below, or from the caudal end of the embryo. As the heart tube follows the longitudinal fold, the dorsal aorta gets 36 37 arched above and cranial to it, resulting in the adult orientation of an aorta that appears to rise out of the heart and arch toward the head. Development of the heart is a complicated process to visualize, but it is a very basic process conceptually.

Twelve pairs of cranial nerves serve the motor and sensory needs of the head and neck. (From Moore KL, Dalley AF. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 4th Edition. Baltimore, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999. 32 Formation of a typical spinal nerve. Sensory information enters the spinal cord only through the dorsal root, and motor information leaves the spinal cord only through the ventral root. The roots come together into a single, wrapped bundle very near the spinal cord. From there, both motor and sensory fibers can travel together in the dorsal ramus and the ventral ramus.

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