The cervical region consists of seven vertebrae in nearly all mammals, including humans. C3 – C6 share a common morphological pattern, and are sometimes thought of as “typical” cervical vertebrae. The most obvious feature characterizing cervical vertebrae is the presence of a transverse foramen just ventral to the pedicle on each side of the body. These foramina, which are lacking in other vertebral classes, transmit an artery, nerves and veins.
The transverse processes of typical cervical vertebrae are extremely small and inconspicuous. Spinous processes are short, medial-laterally broad and superior-inferiorly compressed. They are often bifid, or split into two at the end of the process.