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The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System$
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Alain Berthoz, Werner Graf, and P. P. Vidal

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195068207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.001.0001

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Evolution of the Dorsal Muscles of the Spine in Light of Their Adaptation to Gravity Effects

Evolution of the Dorsal Muscles of the Spine in Light of Their Adaptation to Gravity Effects

Chapter:
(p.22) Chapter 3 Evolution of the Dorsal Muscles of the Spine in Light of Their Adaptation to Gravity Effects
Source:
The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System
Author(s):

Françoise K. Jouffroy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.003.0003

The function and morphology of the neck muscles are the outcome of a long evolutionary process that was started approximately 500 million years ago with jawless-headed, bilaterally symmetric and aquatic animals. Vertebrates are distinct from other animals by their possession of an internal, flexible axial structure and a single nerve cord running dorsally along its axial supporting structure. The major evolutionary trends of vertebrate morphology were correlated with the basic ecologic changes that vertebrates experienced. As living organisms are biologic entities comprised of integrated morphofunctional systems interacting with the environment, adaptation needs correlated with changes of all parts. However, it appears that the changing environment restrictions influenced the respiratory and locomotor systems.

Keywords:   neck muscles, aquatic animals, vertebrates, axial structure, nerve cord

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