The coccyx, commonly referred to as the tailbone, is the final segment of the vertebral column in humans and apes, and certain other mammals such as horses. In humans and other tailless primates (e.g., great apes) since Nacholapithecus (a Miocene hominoid), the coccyx is the remnant of a vestigial tail. In animals with bony tails, it is known as tailhead or dock, in bird anatomy as tailfan. It comprises three to five separate or fused coccygeal vertebrae below the sacrum, attached to the sacrum by a fibrocartilaginous joint, the sacrococcygeal symphysis, which permits limited movement between the sacrum and the coccyx.
The sacrum ( or ; plural: sacra or sacrums;) in human anatomy is a large, triangular bone at the base of the spine, that forms by the fusing of sacral vertebrae S1–S5 between 18 and 30 years of age.
The sacrum is situated at the upper, back part of the pelvic cavity, between the two wings of the pelvis. It forms joints with four other bones. The two projections at the sides of the sacrum are called the alae (wings), and articulate with the ilium at the L-shaped sacroiliac joints. The upper part of the sacrum connects with the last lumbar vertebra, and its lower part with the coccyx (tailbone) via the sacral and coccygeal cornua.
The sacrum has three different surfaces which are shaped to accommodate surrounding pelvic structures. Overall it is concave (curved upon itself). The base of the sacrum, the broadest and uppermost part, is tilted forward as the sacral promontory internally. The central part is curved outward toward the posterior, allowing greater room for the pelvic cavity.
In all other quadrupedal vertebrates, the pelvic vertebrae undergo a similar developmental process to form a sacrum in the adult, even while the bony tail (caudal) vertebrae remain unfused. The number of sacral vertebrae varies slightly. For instance, the S1–S5 vertebrae of a horse will fuse, the S1–S3 of a dog will fuse, and four pelvic vertebrae of a rat will fuse between the lumbar and the caudal vertebrae of its tail. The Stegosaurus dinosaur had a greatly enlarged neural canal in the sacrum, characterized as a “posterior brain case”.
The final (bottom-most) fused vertebrae at the base of the spine, the tailbone.
A large triangular ilia (wings of the pelvis) and formed from vertebrae that fuse in adulthood.
a small triangular bone at the base of the spinal column in humans and some apes, formed of fused vestigial vertebrae.
a triangular bone in the lower back formed from fused vertebrae and situated between the two hip bones of the pelvis.