What is Anatomy?

Anatomy is a combination of the study of medicine and biology, since its main concern is the studying of the structure of all living things, it can be with regards to animals, human and plants. Anatomy is divided into sub categories, which are the gross and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of all structures that is visible to the eye. It can be seen clearly and does not need an aid of a microscope. Microscopic anatomy on the other hand is the complete opposite of gross anatomy. A person would need the use of a microscope; an example would be the study of cells.

Anatomy can be categorized in two, which are the human anatomy and the comparative anatomy. Human anatomy is the study of human body and its structure. It can be divided into two, which are the regional and systematic approach. In regional approach, most studies are simultaneous and are to the external parts of the body like legs, knees, hands, arms etc. Systematic approach on the other hand is a study mostly on the inside part of the body, like the skeletal system, digestive system and the nervous system, which are being studied altogether.

Most students who are taking medical studies are familiarized with the real meaning of what is anatomy through books, pictures, skeletal model, diagrams, lectures and anatomical models. Microscopic anatomy can be learned with the help of not just by microscope itself but also with the slide, especially in studying cells. Using dead bodies or cadavers are another instruments that can help professionals and student alike to learn more about human anatomy. In relation to human anatomy, embryology can also be traced through the skeleton. A person can distinguish the roots of the evolution through looking at the similarities present in ones skeletal system such as the ribcage and vertebrate.

Comparative anatomy on the other hand is the study of the resemblance and diversity of living organisms. Mostly related to animals, comparative anatomy traces similarities of present living organisms to historical living creatures. It is best describes Darwin's theory of evolution. Comparative anatomy also distinguishes each body part of an animal for their functions. Although most animals would have the same bone structure as the other animals, even compared to human, each would have different functions. The similarities can be found and the differences can be distinguished through comparative anatomy. Their function would still depend on the environment that they are in. It will also depend on the animals' everyday task and living, also on their habitat.

Presently, comparative anatomy is mostly being used through the study of paleontology, since it deals with the bone structures that can be traced way back through pre-historic era. With the comparative anatomy, scientist would be able to determine from what animal kingdom they used to belong, or that they would be able to tell the ancestors of each animal by just studying their bones or fossils. There are two major perceptions in comparative anatomy; these are homologous structures and analogous structures.

Homologous structures are body parts that can be the same on different species but serve different functions or use. Like for example, a similarity in the bone structure of a whale and a cat does not mean that they can do the same purpose, it may just be the same but of different use. While analogous structure on the other hand are body parts that can be the same but not because they have the same origin or species, but because they have the same environment or habitat, that is why they are functioning as the same. Like for example, creatures living in water can have similar structure not because they have the same ancestor but because they both live in water. With this information, one can have a better understanding of what is anatomy.

Websites For Learning All About Anatomy

  1. Anatomy Atlases

  2. Anatomy of the Spine
  3. Anatomy on Wikipedia
  4. Artificial Anatomy
  5. GetBodySmart
  6. Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body
  7. Human Anatomy On-line
  8. Instant Anatomy
  9. LUMEN - Structure of the Human Body
  10. The National Library of Medicine - Visible Human Project
  11. NetAnatomy
  12. Seeing, Hearing, and Smelling the World
  13. Vesalius
  14. Virtual Hospital