The Human Body Cavities

Information

The major cavities of the human body are the spaces left over when internal organs are removed. There are additional body cavities which we will only discuss in lecture. These are the cavities created by serous membranes–the pleural cavities, the pericardial cavity, and the peritoneal cavity–and the mediastinum.

  • Dorsal body cavity–the cranial cavity and the spinal cavity in combination.
  • Cranial cavity–the space occupied by the brain, enclosed by the skull bones.
  • Spinal cavity–the space occupied by the spinal cord enclosed by the vertebrae column making up the backbone. The spinal cavity is continuous with the cranial cavity.
  • Ventral body cavity–the thoracic cavity, the abdominal cavity, and the pelvic cavity in combination.
  • Thoracic cavity–the space occupied by the ventral internal organs superior to the diaphragm.
  • Abdominopelvic cavity–the abdominal cavity and the pelvic cavity in combination.
  • Abdominal cavity–the space occupied by the ventral internal organs inferior to the diaphragm and superior to the pelvic cavity.
  • Pelvic cavity–the space occupied by the ventral internal organs that are bordered by the bones of the pelvic girdle.
Side human form showing the dorsal cavity: cranial cavity, spinal cavity, pelvic cavity; and the ventral cavity: thoracic cavity, diaphragm, abdominal cavity, abdominopelvic cavity.

Figure 1-9. The locations of the major body cavities of the human body.

 

Lab 1 Exercises 1.4

Fill in the blank with the appropriate body cavity

  1. The two main body cavities are the ________________ and the ________________ cavities.
  2. The stomach is found in the ________________ cavity.
  3. The heart is found in the ________________ cavity, which is part of the larger ________________ cavity.
  4. The brain is found within the ________________ cavity which is part of the larger ________________ cavity
  5. The urinary bladder and reproductive organs are found within the ________________ cavity.