View Direction Animations

Directional terms come in opposing pairs (like East/West & North/South). Anatomical directional terms are used to describe relative position consistently within a cadaver, independent of how the cadaver is oriented in the East/West, North/South world. [Note: ---al = adjective, e.g., dorsal; --ad = adverb (toward), e.g., dorsad]

Dorsal/Ventral:
Dorsal -- directed toward the back [head, neck, trunk & tail]; also applied to manus & pes.
Ventral -- directed toward the belly [head, neck, trunk & tail].

Medial/Lateral:
Medial -- directed toward the midline (median plane) [head, neck, trunk, tail, & limbs].
Lateral -- directed away from the midline, toward the side [head, neck, trunk, tail, & limbs].

Cranial/Caudal:
Cranial -- directed toward the cranium (brain case) [neck, trunk, tail, limbs].
Caudal -- directed toward the tail (& beyond) [head, neck, trunk, tail, limbs].

Rostral/Caudal:
Rostral -- directed toward the nose (beak) [head].
Caudal -- directed toward the tail (& beyond) [head, neck, trunk, tail, limbs].

Proximal/Distal:
Proximal -- directed toward the torso (trunk) [limbs, useful for the tail].
Distal -- directed away from the torso (trunk) [limbs, useful for the tail].

Dorsal/Palmer | Plantar:
Dorsal -- directed toward the anti-ground (upper) surface of the manus or pes.
Palmar -- directed toward the ground surface of the manus.
Plantar -- directed toward the ground surface of the pes.

Adaxial/Abaxial:
Adaxial -- directed toward the longitudinal central axis of a limb.
Abaxial -- directed away from the longitudinal central axis of a limb.


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