The vertebrae are classified as irregular bones. Due to their function in protecting the spinal cord while allowing a flexibility of movement, vertebrae have a distinctive shape that prohibits easy grouping within a regular type.
Each vertebra has two parts: an anterior part, which is known as the vertebral body, and a posterior part, which is known as the vertebral arch.
The human body has seven types of bones based on shape: long bones, short bones, flat bones, pneumatic bones, sesamoid bones and irregular bones. As the name suggests, irregular bones have an undefined shape. In addition to the vertebrae, other types of irregular bones include the hip bone and the bones that form the base of the skull.