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Medicine LibreTexts

4.12: Directional Terms 1 (Worksheet)

Name: ______________________________

Section: _____________________________

Student ID#:__________________________

Work in groups on these problems. You should try to answer the questions without referring to your textbook. If you get stuck, try asking another group for help.

Insert the missing directional terms in the blanks in the statements below the diagram.


1. The head is .............. to the tail
2. The spinal cord is the vertebral column.
3. The thumb is the elbow.
4. The humerus the ulna.
5. The lungs are the heart.
6. The dorsal aorta the vertebral column.
7. The lumbar vertebrae the thoracic vertebrae.
8. The scapula is............... to the clavicle.
9. The bladder the small intestine.
10. The oesophagus the trachea.
11. The tibia the fibula
12. The patella the knee joint.
13. The pelvic girdle is the vagina.
14. The intestines the liver.
15. The nasal cavity the mouth
16. The heart the elbow.
17. The heart the stomach
18. The atlas vertebra the axis vertebra
19. The fibula the femur
20. The radius is the phalanges


Dorsal = Nearer to the back than

Ventral = Nearer to the belly than

Caudal = Nearer to the tail than (use inferior only for humans)

Cranial = nearer to the head than (use superior only for humans)

Medial = nearer to the mid point than

Lateral = nearer to the outside than

Distal = further away from the body than-use only for structures on limbs

Proximal = nearer to the body than –use only for structures on limbs

Rostral = nearer to the nose than


  • Ruth Lawson (Otago Polytechnic; Dunedin, New Zealand)