Muscles connecting the arm to the spine seen from behind (nuchal ligament labeled in red at center)
|External occipital protuberance|
|Spinous process of C7|
From its anterior border a fibrous lamina is given off, which is attached to the posterior tubercle of the atlas, and to the spinous processes of the cervical vertebrae, and forms a septum between the muscles on either side of the neck.
In humans it is a tendon-like structure that has developed independently in humans and other animals well adapted for running. In some four legged animals, particularly ungulates, the nuchal ligament serves to sustain the weight of the head.
- This article uses anatomical terminology; for an overview, see anatomical terminology.
- ligamentum+nuchae at eMedicine Dictionary
- Investigation of connective tissue attachments to the cervical spinal dura mater
- Drake, Richard L.; Vogl, Wayne; Tibbitts, Adam W.M. Mitchell; illustrations by Richard; Richardson, Paul (2005). Gray's anatomy for students (Pbk. ed.). Philadelphia: Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 978-0-443-06612-2.
- Swindler, D. R., and C. D. Wood. 1973 An Atlas of Primate Gross Anatomy. Seattle: University of Washington Press
- Dennis M. Bramble1 & Daniel E. Lieberman, Endurance running and the evolution of Homo, Nature 432, 345-352 2004