Figure 1.9 a&b.  The Dorsal and Ventral Body Cavities and Subcompartments.

dorsal body cavity - The closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space which houses the central nervous system; its lining are the three connective tissue layers known as the meninges; it is located medially on the posterior of the head and trunk and housed within the confines of the skull and vertebrae; it is arbitrarily subdivided into a cranial cavity containing the brain and a vertebral cavity containing the spinal cord and the roots of the spinal nerves.

cranial cavity - The partially closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space, a subdivision of the dorsal body cavity, which houses the superior portion of the central nervous system, i.e., the brain; its lining are the three connective tissue layers known as the cerebral meninges, i.e., the dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater; it is located medially on the posterior of the head and housed within the confines of the skull; it contains the brain, various cerebral blood vessels, the pituitary gland, and the roots of the cranial nerves; it provides a protected space for the brain.

vertebral cavity - The partially closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space, a subdivision of the dorsal body cavity, which houses the inferior portion of the central nervous system, i.e., the spinal cord; its lining are the three connective tissue layers known as the spinal meninges, i.e., the dura mater, arachnoid, and pia mater; it is located medially on the posterior of the trunk and housed within the confines of the vertebrae; it contains the spinal cord, various spinal blood vessels, adipose tissue, and the roots of the spinal nerves; it provides a protected space for the spinal cord.

ventral body cavity - The closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space which houses various internal organs; its lining are various serous membranes; it is located medially on the anterior of the trunk and housed within the confines of the rib cage and trunk musculature; it is subdivided into (1) a thoracic cavity containing the lungs, heart, and the organs of the mediastinum, and (2) an abdominopelvic cavity with two partially separated subcompartments: (a) an abdominal cavity containing the stomach, liver, intestines, and spleen, and (b) a pelvic cavity containing some of the reproductive organs, the urinary bladder, and the distal colon; this cavity provides a protected space for those organs.

thoracic cavity - The closed, partially membrane-lined sterile anatomical space, a subdivision of the ventral body cavity, which houses the lungs, heart, and the organs of the mediastinum; its linings are the three serous membranes known as the pleural membranes and the pericardial membrane; it is located medially on the anterior of the trunk and housed within the confines of the rib cage; it provides a protected space for those organs.

pleural cavity - The two closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical spaces, subdivisions of the ventral body cavity and of the thoracic cavity, which houses the right and left lungs respectively; its lining is the serous membrane known as the pleural membrane; it is located lateral to the mediastinum and pericardial sac on the anterior of the trunk and housed within the confines of the rib cage; it provides a protected space for the lungs.

pericardial cavity - The closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space, a subdivision of the ventral body cavity and of the thoracic cavity, which houses the heart; its lining is the serous membrane known as the pericardial membrane; it is located within the inferior portion of the mediastinum on the anterior of the trunk and beneath the sternum within the confines of the rib cage; it provides a protected, lubricated space for the heart to contract.

mediastinum - The closed sterile anatomical space, not lined by a serous membrane, a subdivision of the ventral body cavity and of the thoracic cavity, which houses the heart in its pericardial sac, the great vessels, the trachea, the esophagus, and the thymus; it is located medially between the two pleural cavities to the right and left and between the thoracic vertebral column and the sternum.

abdominopelvic cavity - The closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space which houses various internal organs, particularly those of the digestive system; its lining is a serous membrane, the peritoneal membrane; it is located medially on the anterior of the trunk, inferior to the thoracic cavity, and housed within the confines of the trunk musculature; it is arbitrarily subdivided into (1) an abdominal cavity containing the stomach, liver, intestines, and spleen (2) a pelvic cavity containing some of the reproductive organs, the urinary bladder, and the distal colon; it provides a protected space for those organs.

abdominal cavity - The partially closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space which houses certain internal organs, the stomach, liver, intestines, and spleen; its lining is a serous membrane, a portion of the peritoneal membrane; it is located superiorly within the abdominopelvic cavity, bounded superiorly by the diaphragm muscle and inferiorly by the pelvic cavity, with which it is continuous; it provides a protected space for those organs.

pelvic cavity - The partially closed, membrane-lined sterile anatomical space which houses some of the reproductive organs, the urinary bladder, and the distal colon; its lining is a serous membrane, a portion of the peritoneal membrane; it is located inferiorly within the abdominopelvic cavity, bounded superiorly by the abdominal cavity, with which it is continuous, and inferiorly by the walls of the pelvic girdle and its musculature; it provides a protected space for those organs.

 

Sketch and Label

4.  cross sections illustrating the dorsal and ventral body cavities and label the cavity subdivisions and label the membranes lining them.