Vertebrae are bones which play a central role in the physical functioning, specifically the ability to move and remain upright and erect, of humans, as well as of many other animals. The importance of a vertebra is sufficient for humans and other all humans in this category to be accordingly classified as vertebrates. A vertebra is a bone in the spinal column, which runs down the back of the human body.
The human body should have 33 separate vertebrae, which are classed variously into 5 different groups, as are placed at different points on the spinal column as a whole. The uppermost area for a vertebra bone is the cervical region, the top two pairs of vertebrae in which function to allow for the neck and head to move. This area has seven individual vertebra bones. Under these are the thoracic vertebrae, which connect with the bones of the rib cage and include 12 individual vertebra bones. The next section, in term of a downward descent from the top of the spinal cord, is that of the lumbar vertebrae, of which there are 5. Toward the base of the spinal column, an inspection of the human anatomy will reveal sacral vertebrae, 5 of them in total, while the very base of the spinal column is that of the coccyx, in which there are usually 4 coccygeal vertebrae, though in some people there may be one additional or one less vertebra. Almost every vertebra is placed adjacent to another vertebra, on the other side of the spinal column, and in many cases joined to it by an intervertebral disc.