Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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In humans, one of approximately 12 paired, long curved bones attached to the thoracic vertebrae and that form the bony wall of the thorax. Collectively, the upper seven pairs attached to the sternum are true vertebrosternal or sternal ribs (costae verae), while the lower five pairs are the false ribs (costae spuriae), of which the lowest two, which have no ventral attachment, are the floating ribs. Aka (collectively) costae, rib cage, thoracic cage. The range of variation in most primates is 11-14 pairs of ribs; African apes average 13 pairs.

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