The body sternum is the central part of sternum, between the manubrium and the xyphoid process. It is composed by several bones (sternebrae) and segments, depending on the species (horses 7-8, pigs 6, dogs 8-9). The bony segments are united by intervening cartilages of fused by synostoses but remain separate in some species of domestic animals.
On the dorsolateral part of the body are the costal notches for costal cartilages of sternal ribs.
The sternal body is a rectangular and higher than wide in dogs, cylinder in cats, dorsoventrally compressed in ruminants and pigs, laterally compressed with a ventral extension (sternal crest) in horses.