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ball-and-socket joint

in vertebrate anatomy, a joint in which the rounded surface of a bone moves within a depression on another bone, allowing greater freedom of movement than any other kind of joint. It is most highly developed in the large shoulder and hip joints of mammals, including humans, in which it provides swing for the arms and legs in various directions and also spin of those limbs upon the more stationary bones

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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