4.Draw the appearance of each of these spaghetti sectionsbelow, and verify the accuracy of your section identificationswith your instructor.■Dorsal Body CavityM01_MARI6128_10_SE_CH01.QXD 1/17/11 8:10 PM Page 6
and the vertebral(or spinal) cavity,within which the deli-cate spinal cord is protected by the bony vertebral column.Because the spinal cord is a continuation of the brain, thesecavities are continuous with each other.Ventral Body CavityLike the dorsal cavity, the ventral body cavity is subdivided.The superiorthoracic cavityis separated from the rest of theventral cavity by the dome-shaped diaphragm. The heart andlungs, located in the thoracic cavity, are afforded some mea-sure of protection by the bony rib cage. The cavity inferiorto the diaphragm is often referred to as theabdominopelviccavity.Although there is no further physical separationof the ventral cavity, some prefer to describe the ab-dominopelvic cavity in terms of a superiorabdominal cav-ity,the area that houses the stomach, intestines, liver, andother organs, and an inferiorpelvic cavity,the region that ispartially enclosed by the bony pelvis and contains the repro-ductive organs, bladder, and rectum. Notice in Figure 1.5that the abdominal and pelvic cavities are not continuouswith each other in a straight plane but that the pelvic cavityis tipped away from the perpendicular.Serous Membranes of the Ventral Body CavityThe walls of the ventral body cavity and the outer surfaces ofthe organs it contains are covered with an exceedingly thin,double-layered membrane called the serosa,or serous mem-brane.The part of the membrane lining the cavity walls is re-ferred to as the parietal serosa,and it is continuous with asimilar membrane, the visceral serosa,covering the externalsurface of the organs within the cavity. These membranes pro-duce a thin lubricating fluid that allows the visceral organs toslide over one another or to rub against the body wall withminimal friction. Serous membranes also compartmentalizethe various organs so that infection of one organ is preventedfrom spreading to others.The specific names of the serous membranes depend onthe structures they envelop. Thus the serosa lining the ab-dominal cavity and covering its organs is the peritoneum,that enclosing the lungs is the pleura,and that around theheart is the pericardium(see Figure 8.1).Abdominopelvic Quadrants and RegionsBecause the abdominopelvic cavity is quite large and con-tains many organs, it is helpful to divide it up into smaller ar-eas for discussion or study.
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abdominopelvic cavity, Anatomical terms of location, ventral body cavity