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Table 1 Composition of sample of vertebrae from the 71 humans, 36 chimpanzees, and 15 orangutans included in study

From: The ancestral shape hypothesis: an evolutionary explanation for the occurrence of intervertebral disc herniation in humans

Taxon Female Male Unknown Total
Orangutans     
 Last thoracic 4 8 0 12
 First lumbar 5 9 1 15
 Combined 9 17 1 27
Chimpanzees     
 Last thoracic 8 17 0 25
 First lumbar 6 19 6 31
 Combined 14 36 6 56
Healthy humans     
 Last thoracic 12 14 0 26
 First lumbar 15 17 2 34
 Combined 27 31 2 60
Pathological humans     
 Last thoracic 13 20 0 33
 First lumbar 6 13 2 21
 Combined 19 33 2 54
  1. Pathological humans = human vertebrae with Schmorl’s nodes. Healthy humans = human vertebrae without Schmorl’s nodes or other pathologies. None of the orangutan or chimpanzee vertebrae were pathological.