📝 Feedback

Anatomical Position: Anterior/Ventral – Posterior/Dorsal

Anatomical terms used for explaining the location are according to a body placed in what is referred to as a standard anatomical position.

While maps are generally directed having north at the top, the normal body “map,” or anatomical position, is that of

  • The body standing straight.
  • The feet parallel as well as at shoulder width.
  • Toes pointed forward.
  • The upper limbs are kept out towards each side.
  • The palms of the hands face forwards.


Anterior or ventral and posterior or dorsal explain the location of structures with respect to the “front” and “back” of the body.

  • Anterior or ventral is used for describing the position of structures that are relative to frontal part of body.
  • Posterior or dorsal is used to indicate position of structures that located at the back of a certain part.

General Example:

  • The nose is an anterior (ventral) structure.
  • The vertebral column is a posterior (dorsal) structure.


  • The nose is located anterior towards the ears.
  • The vertebral column is posterior towards the sternum.

Specific Examples:

  • The trachea is located directly anterior towards the esophagus.
  • Femur is located posterior towards patella.


Rate this Article: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (72 votes, average: 3.79 out of 5)
Trusted By The World’s Best