Body Region

Body regions are given the following major categories with further subdivisions.


The following structures can be found in the head region:

  • Skull: occipital bone, sphenoid bone, temporal bone, frontal bone, parietal bone, interparietal bone, ethmoid bone, nasal bone, lacrimal bone, zygomatic arch, maxilla, palatine bone, vomer, pterygoid bone, mandible, hyoid apparatus, paranasal sinuses, tympanic bulla, cribriform plate
  • Musculature: facial muscles, muscles of the lips and cheeks, muscles of the nose, extraorbital muscles, muscles of the external ear, muscles of mastication, muscles of the hyoid apparatus
  • Lymph nodes: parotid, submandibular, retropharyngeal
  • Brain: medulla oblongata, pons, cerebellum, limbic system, thalamus, hypothalamus, cerebrum, pituitary gland, pineal gland, olfactory bulb, cranial nerve nuclei, meninges (dura mater, arachnoid matar, pia mater), cerebrospinal fluid
  • Eyes: sclera, cornea, uvea, choroid, retina, ciliary body, pupil, iris, lens, optic nerve, aqueous humour, vitreus body, conjunctiva, nictitating membrane (third eyelid), eyelids, lacrimal apparatus
  • Ears: pinna (auricle), external acoustic meatus, tympanic membrane, tympanic cavity, auditory ossicles (malleus, incus, stapes),round window, eustachian tube, guttural pouch, vestibular apparatus (labrynth, saccule, utricle, semicircular canal), cochlear duct, organ or corti, oval window
  • Nose: nasopharynx, vomeronasal organ
  • Mouth and pharynx: oral cavity, hard palate, soft palate, tongue, salivary glands (parotid, mandibular, sublingual), teeth, gingiva, temporomandibular joint, oropharynx, tonsils, epiglottis
  • Larynx: laryngeal cartilages (thyroid, cricoid, arytenoid, epiglottic, interarytenoid, cuniform process), vocal folds, vesible, muscles (cricothyroid, dorsal cricoarytenoid, lateral cricoarytenoid, thyroarytenoid, transverse arytenoid)


The following structures can be found in the neck region:

  • Bones and Ligaments: cervical vertebrae, atlas, axis, nuchal ligament
  • Musculature: brachiocephalic muscle, sternocephalic muscle, splenius, longus colli, scalene muscles
  • Lymphatics: superficial and deep cervical lymph nodes, thoracic duct
  • Vasculature: carotid artery, jugular vein
  • Thyroid Gland
  • Parathyroid glands
  • Trachea
  • Oesophagus


The following structures can be found in the region of and within the thorax:

  • Bones and Cartilages: ribs & costal cartilages, sternum, thoracic vertebrae
  • Musculature: dorsal serrate muscles, intercostal muscles, levator muscles of the ribs, transverse thoracic muscle, straight thoracic muscle
  • Vasculature: brachiocephalic trunk, subclavian artery and vein, costocervical trunk, bicarotid trunk, internal thoracic artery and vein, cranial vena cava, aorta, pulmonary artery, pulmonary trunk, pulmonary veins, jugular vein, azygous vein
  • Nerves: vagus, phrenic, left recurrent laryngeal, sympathetic trunk, intercostals, thoracic, costoabdominal, iliohypogastric
  • Lymphatics: mediastinal lymph nodes, tracheobronchial lymph nodes, thoracic duct
  • Oesophagus
  • Trachea
  • Bronchi, bronchioles, lungs, alveoli
  • Diaphragm
  • Pleura: parietal, visceral
  • Heart
  • Pericardium
  • Mediastinum
  • Thymus

Thoracic Limb

Structures of the thoracic limb include:

  • Bones: scapula, humerus, clavicle, radius, ulna, carpal bones, metacarpals, phalanges
  • Joints: shoulder, elbow, carpus, metacarpophalangeal joints, interphalangeal joints
  • Musculature: trapezius, brachiocephalicus, omotransversarius, latissismus dorsi, pectorals, serratus ventralis, rhomboideus, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, coracobrachialis, deltoids, teres major, teres minor, triceps brachii, tensor fasciae antebrachii, anconeus, biceps brachii, brachialis, brachoradialis, supinator, pronator teres, pronator quadratus, extensor carpi radialis, ulnaris lateralis, abductor pollicis longus, common digital extensor, lateral digital extensor, flexor carpi radialis, flexor carpi ulnaris, superficial digital flexor, deep digital flexor, interosseous muscles.
  • Vasculature: axillary artery, external thoracic artery, lateral thoracic artery, brachial artery, median artery, superficial brachial artery, transverse cubital artery, common interosseous artery, caudal interosseous artery, ulnar artery, radial artery, deep and superficial palmar arch, dorsal common digital artery, palmar common digital artery, palmar metacarpal artery, cephalic vein, accessory cephalic vein, median cubital vein, deep brachial vein, jugular vein, axillobrachial vein
  • Lymphatics: axillary lymph nodes
  • Nerves: brachial plexus, suprascapular, subscapular, musculocutaneous, axillary, radial, median and ulnar


The following structures can be found in the region of and within the abdomen:

  • Muscles: external abdominal oblique, internal abdominal oblique, rectus abdominis, transversus abdominis, linea alba, rectus sheath
  • Ligaments: gastrophrenic, phrenicosplenic, gastrosplenic, nephrosplenic, falciform, coronary, triangular, hepatogastric, hepatoduodenal, round
  • Vasculature: gastric artery, gastroepiploic arteries, perigastric ring of arteries, coeliac artery, ruminal arteries, mesenteric arteries, jejunal artery, iliocolic artery, colic arteries, rectal arteries, hepatic artery, splenic artery, pancreatoduodenal artery, portal vein, caudal vena cava, oesophageal vein, gastric vein, mesenteric veins,
  • Lymphatics: coeliac lymphocentre, ruminal lymph nodes, reticular lymph nodes, omasal lymph nodes, omasial lymph nodes, rumino-abomasal lymph nodes, abomasial lymph nodes, Peyer’s patches, portal lymph nodes, pancreatoduodenal lymph nodes, mesenteric lymph nodes, caecal lymph nodes, jejunal lymph nodes, colic lymph nodes, anorectal lymph nodes
  • Nerves: thoracic, lumbar, vagus, submucosal plexus, myenteric plexus, mesenteric plexus, coeliac plexus, solar plexus
  • Oesophagus, oesophageal groove
  • Stomach, rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasums, omentum
  • Liver and gall bladder, bile duct, cystic duct
  • Spleen
  • Pancreas, pancreatic duct, accessory pancreatic duct
  • Small intestine: duodenum, jejunum, ileum
  • Large intestine: caecum, colon
  • Kidneys, ureters
  • Urinary bladder
  • Adrenal glands
  • Ovaries, oviducts, uterus
  • Umbilicus
  • Peritoneum: parietal, visceral


  • Bones: ilium, ischium, sacrum, pubis
  • Joints: sacroiliac joint
  • Musculature: obturator, gemellus, iliac, coccygeal, levator ani, external anal sphincter, bulbospongiosus, ischiocavernosus, urethral sphincter, inguinal ring, cremaster, vaginal process
  • Tendons and Ligaments: Inguinal ligament, prepubic tendon
  • Nerves: ilioinguinal, genitofemoral, femoral, caudal rectal, gluteal, sciatic, pudendal, obturator
  • Vasculature: external iliac artery, pudendal artery, umbilical artery, pudendal vein
  • Lymphatics: iliosacral lymphocentre
  • Structures located within the pelvic cavity include:
  • Rectum and anus, anal glands
  • Urinary bladder, urethra
  • In females: uterine body, cervix, vagina and vestibule
  • In males: ductus deferens, accessory sex glands (prostate, bulbourethral glands, seminal vesicles, ampullary glands), penis

Pelvic Limb

Structures of the pelvic limb include:

  • Bones: femur, tibia, fibula, patella, tarsal bones, metatarsals, phalanges
  • Joints: coxafemoral joint , stifle tarsus, metatarpophalangeal joints, interphalangeal joints
  • Musculature: psoas major, psoas minor, iliopsoas, iliac muscle, quadrate lumbar, superficial gluteal, middle gluteal, deep gluteal, gluteofemoral, piriform, tensor fascia lata, biceps femoris, abductor muscle of the thigh, semimembranosus, semitendinosus, Sartorius, gracilis, pectineus, adductor muscles, internal obturator, external obturator, gemellus, quadratus, quadriceps, popliteal
  • Vasculature: external and internal iliac arteries, median sacral artery, caudal gluteal artery, iliolumbar artery, cranial gluteal artery, deep femoral artery, medial circumflex femoral artery, lateral circumflex femoral artery, proximal caudal femoral artery, middle caudal femoral artery, distal caudal femoral artery, caudal epigastric artery, saphenous artery, dorsal common digital artery, plantar common digital artery, descending genicular artery, popliteal artery, caudal tibial artery, arcuate artery, metatarsal artery, medial and lateral plantar digital veins, dorsal pedal vein, metatarsal veins, cranial tibial vein, medial saphenous vein, lateral saphenous vein, popliteal vein, femoral vein
  • Lymphatics: popliteal lymph nodes, ischial lymphocentre, deep inguinal lymphocentre, superficial inguinal lymphocentre, superficial inguinal lymph nodes, subiliac/prefemoral lymph nodes
  • Nerves: lumbosacral plexus, femoral, obturator, gluteal, sciatic, tibial, fibular (peroneal)

Spine and Tail

The vertebral column is composed of a series of bones known as vertebrae (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal), the number of which vary between species. Each vertebra has a number of processes, to which muscles and ligaments attach and to allow articulation with adjacent vertebrae. Between each adjacent vertebra is an intervertebral disc. The arrangement of the vertebrae forms a vertebral canal, which surrounds the spinal cord, meninges, spinal nerves, blood vessels, ligaments, fat and connective tissue.

Muscles in the region of the spine include:

  • Hypaxial muscles: longus colli, rectus capitis ventralis, longus capitis, scalenus
  • Epaxial muscles: iliocostalis, longissimus, transversospinalis

The tail is an important structure which can influence the movement of the whole body, as well as being an important tool for communication.

  • Musculature: sacrococcygeal muscles, intertransverse muscles, coccygeal, iliocaudal, pubocaudal
  • Nerves: sacral, caudal

View the Body Region pages.