Sloths and manatees have an abnormal number of cervical vertebrae, which can be seen from the shape of the vertebrae and the absence of ribs. A and B) Choloepus didactylus (ZMA.334 and RMNH.MAM.3274resp.) specimens with six cervical vertebrae and a seventh transitional cervico-thoracic vertebra with rudimentary rib that are fused to the vertebra (arrows). C) Anterior view of the 4th, 5th and 6th vertebrae of a Choloepus hofmanni. The fourth vertebra has an anterior tuberculum on the right side (white arrowhead) and not on the left, indicating a unilateral homeotic transformation into the 6th cervical vertebra, which is characterized by bilateral tuberculi anterior in mammals. The fifth vertebra has tuberculi anterior bilaterally (white arrowheads), indicating a complete homeotic transformation of the fifth into the sixth cervical vertebra. The 6th vertebra has a completely thoracic shape without foramina transversaria (see Figure 2) and has full ribs, indicating a homeotic transformation into the first thoracic vertebra (normally the 8th vertebra in mammals). Reproduced with permission from . D) and E) Bradypus tridactylus (RMNH.MAM.10460 and ZMA.331 resp.) specimens with 8 cervical vertebrae. The 8th vertebra in D) has bilaterally foramina transversaria (white arrow) and tuberculi anterior (white arrowheads), indicating a complete homeotic transformation of the 8th vertebra into the 6th cervical vertebra. In D) and E) the ninth vertebrae have a transitional cervico-thoracic identity with no foramina transversaria and rudimentary ribs that are fused to the vertebrae (arrows). Note the asymmetric length of the ribs of the 10th vertebra. F) anterior view of five cervical vertebrae and four thoracic ones with ribs of Trichechus manatus (RMNH.MAM24221). There fifth cervical vertebrae has foramina transversaria, but no tuberculi anterior, as in the transgenic mice with loss of function of Hoxa5 ). The sixth vertebra has a transitional cervico-thoracic identity with no foramen transversaria, thoracic transverse processes and large cervical ribs (arrows). The seventh vertebra is the first fully thoracic vertebra with full ribs, indicating a complete homeotic transformation. G) Lateral view of Trichechus senegalensis (U. Nat coll.) with six cervical vertebrae and a completely thoracic seventh vertebra, with full ribs (arrow), indicating a complete homeotic transformation.