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A vertebra is one of the bones in the back that makes up the spinal column. The plural is vertebrae. The vertebrae are shaped to surround and protect the spinal cord and still allow the spinal column to flex.

A vertebra viewed from above. The body at the top of the image faces into the body from the spinal column.
A vertebra viewed from the side. The body at the right of the image faces inward.
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