The Thoracic Cage

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Illustration shows the rib cage and the sternum, which is the bone in the front and center of the upper body. The rib bones, which end about three quarters of the way around the body, do not connect directly to the sternum; instead, costal cartilage connects the rib bones to the sternum.
The thoracic cage, or rib cage, protects the heart and the lungs. (credit: modification of work by NCI, NIH)

OpenStax Biology 2e

The thoracic cage, also known as the ribcage, is the skeleton of the chest, and consists of the ribs, sternum, thoracic vertebrae, and costal cartilages. The thoracic cage encloses and protects the organs of the thoracic cavity, including the heart and lungs. It also provides support for the shoulder girdles and upper limbs, and serves as the attachment point for the diaphragm, muscles of the back, chest, neck, and shoulders. Changes in the volume of the thorax enable breathing.

The sternum, or breastbone, is a long, flat bone located at the anterior of the chest. It is formed from three bones that fuse in the adult. The ribs are 12 pairs of long, curved bones that attach to the thoracic vertebrae and curve toward the front of the body, forming the ribcage. Costal cartilages connect the anterior ends of the ribs to the sternum, with the exception of rib pairs 11 and 12, which are free-floating ribs.

Source:

Clark, M., Douglas, M., Choi, J. Biology 2e. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/details/books/biology-2e

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