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THE GOAT SKELETON
1 About one third of the weight of bone consists of an organic framework of fibrous tissues and cells. This organic matter gives resilience and toughness to bones. The remaining two-thirds of the weight of bone consists of organic salts (largely calcium and phosphorus) deposited within the organic framework. These salts give hardness and rigidity to bones.

2 Classification of Bones Long bones are greater in one dimension than the other. Long bones function chiefly as levers and aid in support, locomotion and prehension. The best examples of long bones are found in the limbs.

3 Short bones are somewhat cuboidal, or approximately equal in all dimensions. Short bones function in absorbing concussion, and are found in complex joints such as the knee or hock where a variety of movements, as well as absorption of shock are required.

4 Flat bones are relatively thin, and expanded in two dimensions. They function chiefly for protection of vital organs (e.g. brain, heart, lungs, pelvic viscera), but also provide large surface area for muscle attachment.

5 Sesamoid bones resemble a sesame seed and are developed along the course of tendons to reduce friction or change the course of tendons. The patella (knee-cap) is the largest sesamoid bone in the body.

6 Pneumatic bones contains air spaces that communicate with the exterior. Found in the skull.

7 Irregular bones are unpaired bones located in the median plane, e.g. vertebrae and sternebrae, etc. Irregular bones are important for protection, support and muscle attachment.

8 Function of Bones Some common functions are:

--Give rigidity and form to the body. --Provide protection. --Act as levers. --Store minerals, especially calcium and phosphorous. --Provide a site for blood formation.

9 The Skeleton Consists of two parts:

Axial skeleton, including --skull --vertebral column --sternum --ribs Appendicular skeleton, including --fore-limbs --hind-limbs

10 The Axial Skeleton This includes almost all bones, except those of the limbs. It consists of four parts:

Skull -- is that part of the skeleton which forms the basis of the head. It functions in protection of the brain, supports many of the sense organs and forms passages for the beginning of the digestive and respiratory system. The skull is composed of a large number of bones which are joined together by joints called sutures. The large number of bones, and their slightly differing shapes and sizes in various animals accounts for the difference in the shape of heads of individual animals.

Vertebral Column -- is composed of irregular bones called vertebrae. There are five different regions of the vertebral column:

--Cervical - neck region --Thoracic - chest region --Lumbar - loin region --Sacral - pelvic region --Coccygeal - tail region

All vertebrae consists of various parts including:

--Body --Vertebral arch --Vertebral foramen --Spinous process --Transverse process --Articular process

11 The vertebrae in the various regions differ in the degree of development of the various parts.

12 Cervical vertebrae generally have well-developed articular processes to facilitate the large amount of movement normally found in the neck region. Other processes are not as well-developed as in other regions of the vertebral column.

13 All domestic mammals have 7 cervical vertebrae. The first (atlas), and second (axis) cervical vertebrae differ in structure from the other 5 cervical vertebrae, and these cervical vertebrae differ from those in other regions as shown in the diagrams.

Thoracic Vertebrae (chest region):

--Large spinous process (chest region) --Small transverse processes --Tiny articular processes (very little movement in the chest region) --Facets for articulation with ribs --Small bodies

Lumbar Vertebrae (loin region):

--Large articular process --Small spinous process --Medium articular processes --Medium length of body

Sacral Vertebrae (Sacrum) (pelvic region):

--Individual vertebrae fused to form one bone --Transverse processes well developed at the front end --Spinous process small

14 Coccygeal Vertebrae (tail region): The vertebrae of the tail change shape. The further along the tail, the less distinct do the various processes become. The last few coccygeal vertebrae do not have a spinal process, and the vertebral arch is not closed.

15 Sternum -- forms the base of the chest cavity (thorax). The sternum consists of small bone segments, called sternebrae, which tend to fuse together as age advances. The goat has 7 sternebrae.

16 Ribs -- form the lateral walls of the chest cavity (thorax). Usually the number of pairs of ribs equals the number of thoracic vertebrae, e.g. goat has 13 thoracic vertebrae and 26 ribs usually.

Each rib consists of several parts:

--Head --Tubercle --Body --Costo-chondral junction --Costal cartilage

17 The costo-chondral junction and costal cartilage may not be present in floating ribs.

18 The shape of the individual ribs changes from the front of the rib-cage to the back. The first pair of ribs are short, straight and thick. As we move along the rib-cage, the ribs initially lengthen and become more curved. As we move further along, the ribs become shorter, but the curvature continues to increase.

19 Sternal ribs -- the number of pairs of sternal ribs equals the number of vertebrae. Sternal ribs extend from their respective thoracic vertebrae to the sternum, where they are connected directly by costal cartilages.

20 Asternal ribs -- do not connect directly with the sternum. The costal cartilage of asternal ribs joins to form the costal arch, then attaches the ribs indirectly to the sternum.

21 Floating ribs -- sometimes the last one or two ribs have no connection with other ribs via the costal arch. These are floating ribs. Not usually present in goats.

22 The Appendicular Skeleton The appendicular skeleton is made up of the bones of the limbs.

23 The bones of the front limb are compared to those of the hind limb: Front Limb Scapula Humerus Radius Ulna Carpus (knee) Metacarpus (cannon) Phalanges (digits)

Hind Limb Pelvis (ilium, ischium, pubis) Femur Tibia Fibula Tarsus (stock) (hock) Metatarsus (cannon) Phalanges (digits)

24 The following diagrams show these bones and the various joints formed by the front and hind limbs.

25 The outline of the goat, or its basic conformation, relates to its bone-framework, or skeleton. The stature of an animal, it's body capacity, legs, feet, etc. are directly associated with the skeleton. A sound knowledge of these anatomical basics is a must to the breeder, who takes interest in an animal's conformation, and tends to breed a more productive animal.