The term axis, which comes from a Latin word translatable as “axis”, is used in different ways in our language. However the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) recognizes only one meaning.

The meaning picked up by the RAE indicates that axis is mentioned as one of the cervical vertebrae. Specifically, it is the second of these bone pieces, which is located below the atlas and on the vertebra C3.

Cervical vertebrae

The axis is the second cervical vertebra.

What are cervical vertebrae

To the short bones that make up the spine (also called rachis or spine) are called vertebrae. These bones are arranged in a row and are articulated with each other, allowing various movements.

In the specific case of cervical vertebrae, are seven and are located in the area of neck. They are located below the skull and above the thoracic vertebrae.

Axis characteristics

The second cervical vertebra can be differentiated only in the mammals, the birds and the reptiles. On its upper face it shows a tooth or odontoid process, where in turn the vertex, the body, the neck and the base can be distinguished.

This process also constitutes the body of the first cervical vertebra (the atlas). That is why the atlas is said to be an incomplete vertebra. It is interesting to note that, of the seven vertebrae in the neck, only the atlas and the axis have a distinctive morphology, with which they have own name (the rest are numbered according to their position).

The axis enables the neck rotate laterally. In other words, it enables head rotation. Malformations or injuries of the axis can cause from headaches and neck pain to stiffness, through restrictions in the movements of the joints and weakness in the muscles.

Axis axis

The axis deer lives in Asia.

Deer genus

There are other uses of the axis concept. The notion, if it appears in capital letters (Axis), refers to a genre of animals that belong to the family group of cervids.

The cervids are mammals (the pups are fed with the milk from the females’ breasts), artiodactyls (Their limbs end in an even number of fingers, of which they use at least two to support themselves on the ground) and ruminants (Your stomach is divided into four cavities). Axis is one of the genres that make up this family.

Just four species integrate gender Axis: Axis axis (axis deer, mottled or chital), Axis porcinus (deer pig or porcine), Axis kuhlii (Bawean axis) Y Axis calamianensis (Calamian axis or Calamian deer). They all live on the Asian continent.

The axis mundi

It is known as axis mundi to a symbol representing the connection between Earth and the Darling. The expression can be translated as “Axis of the world”.

The axis mundi symbolizes the convergence of all directions, linking the terrestrial with the celestial. The representation can be carried out by means of objects manufactured by the human being (like a ladder or a tower) or natural elements (a tree, a mountain).

Many towns and cultures they have appealed to the world axis. The ancient Hebrews, North American aborigines, Chinese and Aztecs, among others, resorted to this type of image to reflect their worldview.