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    Why doesn't the atlas have a vertebral body?

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    There are many distinctions between the atlas, or first cervical vertebra, and other typical vertebrae of the spine. One of these distinctions is the fact that the atlas does not have a vertebral body. Why is this?

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    Solution Preview

    The atlas, or first cervical vertebra, is unique compared to all other vertebrae of the spine because it does not have a vertebral body.

    The vertebral body is the central, weight-bearing portion ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution briefly outlines the absence of the vertebral body in the atlas. A succinct summary for anatomy students.