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see ribrib,
one of the slender, elongated, curved bones that compose the chest cage in higher vertebrates. Ribs occur in pairs, and are found in most vertebrates; however, in some lower vertebrates, including fishes, they run along the entire length of the backbone.
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the complex of skeletal elements in terrestrial vertebrates and man that unite, along the midline of the body, the ventral ends of the true ribs and parts of the pectoral girdle and to which the sternal muscles are attached.

The sternum is a derivative of the ribs and first appeared in terrestrial vertebrates when a strengthening of support for the pectoral girdle was required in connection with the progressive evolution of the forelimbs. In amphibians and reptiles the sternum is usually cartilaginous; in the latter, only a few ribs are attached, forming the thorax. In birds the sternum is osseous; in flying birds there is a median process, the keel, to which the powerful pectoral muscles are attached. In mammals the sternum consists of three sections: the manubrium, the corpus sterni, and the xiphoid process. In man the sternum, or breastbone, is an unpaired flat bone that forms the middle part of the anterior wall of the thorax.


The bone, cartilage, or series of bony or cartilaginous segments in the median line of the anteroventral part of the body of vertebrates above fishes, connecting with the ribs or pectoral girdle.


1. (in man) a long flat vertical bone, situated in front of the thorax, to which are attached the collarbone and the first seven pairs of ribs
2. the corresponding part in many other vertebrates
3. a cuticular plate covering the ventral surface of a body segment of an arthropod
References in periodicals archive ?
Henderson claimed he had tried to revive Mrs Walsh after realising she was not breathing and Dr Scott admitted people did sometimes break victims' ribs when they exerted excess force during cardiac massage and that the breast bone was quite commonly fractured in such cases.
Other causes include a strained muscle, a bruised or broken rib and inflammation of the joint between rib and breast bone - all of which come under the heading of musculoskeletal.
Argenziano told the reporter that, "(for) the average patient having a median steronomy, where the breast bone is split in half to do an operation on the heart, it takes up to 6 to 12 weeks to recover and most don't even feel well until about three months after surgery.
To perform a bone marrow transplant, cells from the centre of certain bones, usually the hip or breast bone, are collected from a living donor and are then transfused directly into one of the recipient's veins.
A lot of this flexibility comes from the fact that ribs do not join directly on to the breast bone but a strip of cartilage (the costal cartilage) runs from the end of the rib to the side of the breast bone.
The 74-year-old suffered a fractured breast bone when her Nissan Micra was involved in a collision with a Jaguar on Friday.
In the past, Sean has broken his elbow and Amber has broken both her collar bone and her breast bone.
He was pushed by the car back into his scooter and sustained serious fractures to his ribs and breast bone.
Using a small sharp or boning knife, keep the blade pressed on the breast bone at all times and slice your way down.
Instead his breast bone pressed against his heart, which then ruptured.
The 46-year-old grandmother, who was just 5ft 1ins and 6 stone 12 lbs, had a broken breast bone and fractures to every one of her ten ribs - some at both back and front and others in three places, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
The Panda driver, Dean Alcock, of Drayton Way, Nuneaton, has been detained in George Eliot Hospital with a broken breast bone.