Generalizations on support and locomotion
- 7 neck vertebrae (cervical): except for sloths and manatees that can be elongated (giraffe) or compressed (wales)
- trunk is divided into thoracic and lumbar regions: thoracic contain ribs for anterior organ protection and are articulated for flexibility. lumbar have interlocking processes for support at the expense of flexability.
- sacral vertebrae are fused: advantageouse for locomotion (weight bearing) but bad for birth
- last set of vertebrae contain caudal vertebrae: tails usefull for locomotion, thermoregulation , and balance. (apes instead have a coccyx)
- Appendicular skeleton is rotated under the body: therefore the appendicular skelly bears the weight of the body. (muscle mass is proximal to move the legs which fight gravity?)