Original Article

Anatomical Science International

, Volume 80, Issue 4, pp 212-222

First online:

Iliocostalis muscles in three mammals (dolphin, goat and human): Their identification, structure and innervation

  • Akiko NomizoAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , Hiroyuki KudohAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Juntendo University School of Medicine
  • , Tatsuo SakaiAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Juntendo University School of Medicine Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Iliocostalis (IC) muscles were studied in four dolphin embryos, three goat embryos and four Japanese adult cadavers through macroscopic dissection. The IC muscles of the dolphin were located on the lateral aspect of the trunk and displayed an intercostal arrangement. In contrast, the IC muscles in both the goat and human showed a double-layered architecture formed by a multisegmental muscle–tendon complex and were located on the lateral and medial sides of the costal angle, respectively. Generally, the nerve to the iliocostalis (NIC) in the dolphin and goat did not form a common trunk with the nerve to the longissimus on the epaxial plane, whereas in humans the NIC ran parallel to the nerve to the longissimus part of the way. The individual NIC ran caudolaterally, innervating the one lower (caudal) metameric division of the IC muscle in the dolphin and piercing the fascia of the IC muscles at a point in the next caudal intercostal level in the goat and human. In the upper thoracic part of the goat and human, the caudal shift of innervation was obscured, where the IC muscles were close to the vertebrae. The course of the NIC was closely related to that of the lateral cutaneous branch. The present study shows that the NIC is commonly destined for the one lower intercostal level among the three mammalian species, with their respective IC muscles having distinctly different structural complexity.

Key words

dorsal rami epaxial muscle lateral cutaneous branch macroscopical anatomy mammals