Modified neck muscular system of the giraffe (Giraffe camelopardalis)

The muscular and skeletal systems of the long neck were morphologically examined in order to clarify their modification and their functional significant in the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). The longissimus, the thoracic and cervical, spinalis and semispinalis, the cranial and caudal head oblique, and the multifidius muscles, and the nuchal ligament were observed at their origin and insertion. The atlas, axis, and the third cervical vertebrae were measured and examined. The modified spinous process provided the large attachment surface for strong nuchal ligament and for the muscles of the axis and other cervical vertebrae, while the muscle tendons had their origin in the ventrocaudally-enlarged transverse process. It is concluded that the modified muscles with their expanded belly and tendon have the functions of occupying the interspace among long vertebrae, and also of supporting the head and neck by means of their wide attachment to the altered vertebral process.

Last Updated
January 27, 2021
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4.48 MB