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The human vertebral column, colored.

The spine, also called backbone, is the series of bones that make up the vertebral column. It runs along the center of the back from the head to the pelvis, where it ends (in humans) at the coccyx or tailbone. The spine is the most central part of the skeleton. The ribcage is attached to the spine.

The role of the spine in torso motion[edit]

The spine (together with the muscles of the back) allows erect postures, but also bending and twisting of the torso within a certain range. This spinal flexibility is very important in figure drawing.

The spinal cord[edit]

The spine encloses and protects the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves that is an extension of the central nervous system from the brain. Because of this, any injury to the spine is extremely dangerous and can lead to paralysis or death.

See also[edit]

Orientation of vertebrae of the spine and important muscles on the back.