Dorsum (biology)

Dorsum (biology)

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Encyclopedia
In anatomy
Anatomy
Anatomy is a branch of biology and medicine that is the consideration of the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy , and plant anatomy...

, the dorsum is the upper side of animals that typically run, fly, or swim in a horizontal position, and the back side of animals (like humans) that walk upright. In vertebrate
Vertebrate
Vertebrates are animals that are members of the subphylum Vertebrata . Vertebrates are the largest group of chordates, with currently about 58,000 species described. Vertebrates include the jawless fishes, bony fishes, sharks and rays, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds...

s the dorsum contains the backbone
Vertebral column
In human anatomy, the vertebral column is a column usually consisting of 24 articulating vertebrae, and 9 fused vertebrae in the sacrum and the coccyx. It is situated in the dorsal aspect of the torso, separated by intervertebral discs...

. The term dorsal refers to anatomical structures that are either situated toward or grow off that side of an animal. The opposite side of the animal is described with the terms ventrum and ventral.

In lepidoptera
Lepidoptera
Lepidoptera is a large order of insects that includes moths and butterflies . It is one of the most widespread and widely recognizable insect orders in the world, encompassing moths and the three superfamilies of butterflies, skipper butterflies, and moth-butterflies...

 (moths and butterflies), the dorsum also refers to the trailing edge of the wing (the leading edge is called the costa
Glossary of Lepidopteran terms
This glossary describes the terms used in the formal descriptions of insect species, jargon used mostly by professionals or entomologist....

).

Human neuroanatomy


In the forebrain region in humans the term "dorsal" is used equivalently to "superior" (towards the top of the head).

Nerve rootlets stemming from the spinal cord
Spinal cord
The spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of nervous tissue and support cells that extends from the brain . The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system...

 form dorsal (sensory) and ventral (motor) roots before these unite to form the spinal nerve
Spinal nerve
The term spinal nerve generally refers to a mixed spinal nerve, which carries motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and the body...

.