The thoracic vertebrae of an ox possess a typical cylindrical body with a longer spinous process. You will find some other unique osteological features in these vertebrae that make them different from others.
Here, I will share the unique osteological features of a bovine thoracic vertebra with the diagram. After completing this article, you will easily identify and differentiate this thoracic vertebra from the ox spine.
Quick overview of ox thoracic vertebrae: these vertebral bones of the spine form the roof of the thoracic cavity with the vertebral ends of ribs. They are characterized (unique) by the presence of a typical cylindrical body (possessing costal facets) and a long supraspinous process.
Here, you will also know the number of thoracic vertebrae in different animals like cows, horses, and dogs. Again, I will point out the main differences between the thoracic vertebrae of oxes and horses with a diagram.
Let’s continue this article to learn the details of anatomical facts of thoracic vertebrae.
Thoracic vertebrae of ox
An ox thoracic vertebra has a body, arches, and three main processes like the typical vertebral bone. I will describe all the features of the body, arches, and processes of the ox thoracic vertebra one by one.
But first, I would like to enlist the main osteological features that you might identify from the thoracic vertebrae of an ox. Let’s see the below-mentioned features from the bovine thoracic vertebra –
- The short cylindrical body of the thoracic vertebra,
- Articular ends (cranial and caudal) in the cylindrical body,
- Cranial and caudal pairs of articular facets (costal) in the body,
- Smaller arches (both pedicle and lamina),
- A larger caudal notch on the caudal aspect of the pedicle,
- Undeveloped cranial articular process of thoracic vertebra,
- Ventrally directed caudal articular process of the thoracic vertebra,
- Short and thick transverse process (bears facet), and
- Larger and narrow supraspinous process of the thoracic vertebra of an ox,
But the conformity of body, spinous, and transverse processes of the thoracic vertebrae changes gradually. You will also find this variation on the thoracic vertebrae in the description section of this article.
The features from the bovine thoracic vertebrae are identified in the provided labeled diagram.
I hope you understand the basic structure of the cow’s thoracic vertebrae. Now, you may tell the unique features of these vertebrae easily.
Before that, you may know the ideal structure of a typical vertebra from the ox spine. That might help you to understand every single feature of a thoracic vertebra.
Suggested article from anatomy learner to get the ideal structure of vertebra –
- Typical vertebra of an ox – description of anatomy facts of body, arches, and processes with diagram,
How many thoracic vertebrae does an ox or cow have?
Quick answer: the ox or cow have 13 (thirteen) thoracic vertebrae in its spine. All these thoracic vertebrae (except the last) show similar structural features on their bodies, arches, and processes.
But, the number of this thoracic vertebra in horses, dogs, and pigs differs from the number of cows. You will find 18 thoracic vertebrae in the spine of a horse. Again, the spine of the dog shows 13 (thirteen) thoracic vertebrae.
Let’s see the number of thoracic vertebrae of different animals from Table 1 –
|Species||Number of thoracic vertebrae|
|Ox or Cow||13|
|Pig||14 or 15|
|Rabbit||12 or 13|
Unique features of ox thoracic vertebra
Here, I will enlist the unique osteological features of the ox thoracic vertebrae –
- #1. The body is short but shows the typical cylindrical shape,
- #2. You will see four costal facets (2 on either extremity) on the structure of the body of the thoracic vertebra,
- #3. The arches of thoracic vertebrae are small compared to other vertebrae and possess larger caudal notches,
- #4. Either aspect of the arches of a thoracic vertebra is pierced by additional intravertebral foramina (most unique),
- #5. The supraspinous process of the thoracic vertebrae is longer than any other vertebrae of the spine (unique),
- #6. You will see the short, thick, and undivided transverse process in the structure of an ox thoracic vertebra,
- #7. Each of the transverse processes has the dorsal mammillary process and ventral facet (unique),
- #8. The articular process (both cranial and caudal) are not well-developed in the ox thoracic vertebra,
- #9. You will find only one pair of cranial costal facets in the body of the last thoracic vertebra of an ox,
Above these are the unique osteological features of the thoracic vertebral bones of an ox. In the next section, you will learn the details of these unique features of thoracic vertebral bones.
Thoracic vertebrae of ox anatomy
Now, let’s discuss the anatomy of the ox thoracic vertebra with properly labeled diagrams. Here, you will find the followings –
- #1. Anatomical facts of the body of ox thoracic vertebra,
- #2. Osteological facts of the arches of ox thoracic vertebra, and
- #3. Features of the three processes of ox thoracic vertebra,
Let’s start with the anatomical facts from the body of the ox thoracic vertebra.
Body of the cow thoracic vertebrae
This vertebra of the ox spine typically possesses a cylindrical body. You will also find the cylindrical bodies in the structure of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th cervical vertebrae.
Again, the vertebra of an ox has no typical body–like atlas.
- Suggested article – atlas of ox – anatomy of a first cervical vertebra of cows with diagram,
Here, the body of the thoracic vertebra shows two extremities and two surfaces. Both the cranial and caudal extremities of the body have the articular surfaces.
- The cranial extremity of the body – is less convex compared to cervical vertebrae, and
- The caudal extremity of the body – less concave,
On the dorsal aspect of the body (on each side), you will see the oval and concave facets. These are the costal facets termed the cranial and caudal pairs of articular facets.
These cranial and caudal facets of the thoracic vertebrae, along with the intervertebral intervening disc, forms the socket. Within this socket, the head of the ribs articulates and forms the diarthrodial articulation.
But, the body of the last thoracic vertebra of an ox doesn’t possess the caudal pair of articular facets.
You may get the basic idea of the structure of the rib’s head from the below-mentioned article of anatomy learner –
Arches of ox thoracic vertebra
The arches (pedicles and lamina) of the ox thoracic vertebra are small compared to the other vertebral bones of the spine. Both right and left lateral pedicles have cranial and caudal notches.
But, the cranial notch is very small, whereas the caudal notch is larger. Both cranial and caudal notches of the pedicle contribute to forming the intervertebral foramen within the adjacent bones.
But, you will find another exceptional osteological feature in the caudal aspect of the pedicle. There is an exceptionally larger intervertebral foramen at the caudal aspect of a notch (on each side).
But, in the structure of the cervical vertebrae of an ox, you will not find these features (caudal intravertebral foramen).
Processes of the ox thoracic vertebra
Both the cranial and caudal articular processes are present in the structure of the ox thoracic vertebra. But, the cranial articular process is small and underdeveloped in the ox thoracic vertebra.
The cranial articular process is two small oval facets like structures. They are located on the dorsal part of the lamina or the neural arch.
The direction of these cranial articular processes is dorsal.
You will find the small oval-shaped caudal articular processes which directed ventrally. These caudal pair of articular processes locate at the ventral aspect of the spinous process.
Here, the transverse process of the thoracic vertebra has no division like the cervical vertebra. Again, they are comparatively shorter and thick than these of the transverse process of cervical vertebrae.
The transverse process of the ox thoracic vertebra possesses two parts –
- A mammillary process – which is a non-articular segment, and
- Ventral tuberous part – that possesses the articular facets,
And you know, this articular facet on the ventral part of the transverse process is for the articulation with the tubercle of ribs.
The supraspinous process of the ox thoracic vertebra is longer and directed dorsally and caudally. You will see the thin cranial border and thick caudal border in the structure of a spinous process.
Again, the thick caudal border of the spinous process shows the ridge that divides it into two parts.
Serial changes of ox thoracic vertebrae
You will see the gradual changes in the bodies, arches, and processes of the ox thoracic vertebrae. Let’s see how these changes occur in the bodies, arches, and processes –
The body of the thoracic vertebrae gradually diminishes its length and wide at the middle of the region. Then, the body of these vertebral bone gradually increase slightly, but the nerve regains like the first thoracic vertebra.
From the first to last thoracic vertebrae, the costal facets of the body become gradually smaller and less concave.
The transverse process of the thoracic vertebrae gradually diminishes their size. They (transverse process) are placed more ventrally as traced caudally.
Again, the costal facets of the transverse process become smaller and lower in position. The last costal facet on the transverse process (12th thoracic vertebra) fuses with the facet of the body.
The length of the spinous process of the thoracic vertebra increases up to the 4th or 5th bones. Then the length of the spinous process diminishes, and you will find a lower process in the 13th thoracic vertebra.
Summary of bovine thoracic vertebra structure
Let’s see the summary of the bovine thoracic vertebra structure from Table 2 –
|Thoracic vertebrae of ox||Osteological features|
Constricted at middle
Possess costal facets (4)
|Arches||Present larger caudal notches|
Have intravertebral foramen
|Processes||Longer spinous process|
Short transverse process
– Have costal facet
Underdeveloped cranial articular process
Oval ventral caudal articular process
Thoracic vertebrae of ox diagram
In this part, you will find the various diagrams of the ox thoracic vertebra. Here, I tried to show you the body, arches, and process from the ox thoracic vertebrae labeled diagram.
The cranial and caudal costal facets are also identified from the two extremities of the body. Again, the labeled diagram also shows the facet on the ventral part of the transverse process of a thoracic vertebra.
The labeled diagram also identifies all other features of the ox thoracic vertebra. Let’s find more labeled diagrams on bovine thoracic vertebrae on social media of anatomy learners.
You will find different views of bovine and horse’s thoracic vertebrae labeled diagram there.
What is the difference between the thoracic vertebrae of an ox and a horse?
Quick answer: you may quickly differentiate the horse’s thoracic vertebrae from the ox with the appearance of the body and transverse process. You will find the thick and blunt transverse process and the short, constricted body in the horse’s thoracic vertebrae.
Again, the notch on the pedicle (caudal aspect) is larger than the oxes. There are no accessory processes in the spinous process of the horse thoracic vertebrae.
“The spinous process of bovine thoracic vertebrae (8th, 9th and 10th) possess accessory process.”
Let’s see the differences between the horse and ox’s thoracic vertebrae from Table 3 –
|Features||Horse thoracic vertebrae||Ox thoracic vertebrae|
Constricted at middle
Constricted at middle
|Arches||Notch larger||Notch small|
|Spinous process||Thick and blunt||Border thin and sharp|
|Spinous process||No accessory process||Have accessory process|
So, the thoracic vertebrae of ox show some distinguishable unique features. The presence of 4 costal facets on the body and the long transverse process are two most unique osteological features of the ox thoracic vertebra.
The provided diagram might help you to identify and differentiate the ox thoracic vertebrae from the horses. You may also compare the ox thoracic vertebrae with other spine vertebrae.