Vertebral Morphology in Relation to Head Posture and Locomotion I: The Cervical Spine

Thierra K. Nalley, Neysa Grider-Potter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The cervical spine is the connection between the head and postcranial skeleton, and it has several critical biological roles. Historically, this region has received less attention than other components of the vertebral column in studies of comparative primate anatomy, despite its important functional relationships. More recently, however, researchers have begun to explore these relationships by expanding taxonomic sampling, incorporating 3D morphometrics and new quantification methodologies, and examining cervical variation in the context of more refined, quantified measures of head and neck posture and locomotor behaviors. This chapter reviews what is known about the functional morphology of the primate cervical spine in relation to head stabilization and locomotor behaviors and highlights avenues of future research and hypothesis testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpinal Evolution
Subtitle of host publicationMorphology, Function, and Pathology of the Spine in Hominoid Evolution
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030193492
ISBN (Print)9783030193485
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical vertebrae
  • Functional morphology
  • Head stability
  • Neck kinematics
  • Primates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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