Vertebratus Cloud Variety: Fishbone, Resembling Ribs

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Definition: A variety of cirrus clouds resembling the backbone and ribs of a fish skeleton

Description & Characteristics. Translated from latin meaning jointed, the ‘vertebratus’ cloud variety is found only in the cirrus cloud type. No other cloud type besides a cirrus cloud can be classified as vertebratus. Cirrus vertebratus cloud formations are high in altitude and are best described as cirrus clouds that look like the backbone and ribs of a fish skeleton. The proper cloud classification abbreviation for this cloud type and variety is ‘Ci ve’.

When trying to find the vertebratus cloud variety, your best bet is to keep your eyes peeled when there are cirrus fibratus clouds present. Sometimes cirrus vertebratus clouds can form from sheared aircraft contrails, which would put them in the homomutatus category, classifying them as cirrus vertebratus homomutatus.

Cirrus vertebratus (Ci ve)
Cirrus vertebratus (Ci ve)
A photograph of a cirrus vertebratus cloud (Ci ve) over a farm in Virginia

Vertebratus Cloud Types

The vertebratus cloud variety is only associated with the cirrus cloud type.

A graphical illustration of a cirrus vertebratus cloud

Cirrus (Ci)

High, wispy streaks