Anatomy (from the Greek anatome, fromana-temnein, to cut up), is the branch of biology that deals with thestructure and organization of living things; thus there is animal anatomy ( zootomy )and plant anatomy ( phytonomy ). The major branches of anatomy include comparative anatomy and human anatomy .
Animal anatomy may include the study of the structure of different animals, when it is called comparative anatomy or animal morphology , or it may be limited to one animal only, in which case it is spoken of as specialanatomy.
From a utilitarian point of view the study of humans is the most important division of special anatomy, and this human anatomymay be approached from different points of view. From that of the medical man it consists of a knowledge of the exact form,position, size and relationship of the various structures of the human body in health, and to this study the term descriptive ortopographical human anatomy is given, though it is often, less happily, spoken of as Anthropotomy.
An accurate knowledge of all the details of the human body takes years of patient observation to gain and is possessed by onlya few. So intricate is man's body that only a small number of professional human anatomists are complete masters of all itsdetails, and most of them specialize on certain parts, such as the brain, viscera, &c.; contenting themselves with a goodworking knowledge of the rest. Topographical anatomy must be learned by each person for himself by the repeated dissection andinspection of the dead human body. It is no more a science than a pilot's knowledge is, and, like that knowledge, must be exactand available in moments of emergency.
From the morphological point of view, however, human anatomy is a scientific and fascinating study, having for its object thediscovery of the causes which have brought about the existing structureof Man, and needing a knowledge of the allied sciences of embryology or developmental biology , phylogeny , and histology .
Pathological anatomy (or morbid anatomy) is the study ofdiseased organs, while sections of normal anatomy, applied to various purposes, receive special names such as medical, surgical,gynaecological, artistic and superficial anatomy. The comparison of the anatomy of different races of mankind is part of thescience of physical anthropology or anthropological anatomy. In the present edition of this work the subject of anatomy istreated systematically rather than topographically. Each anatomical article contains first a description of the structures of anorgan or system (such as nerves, arteries, heart, &c.), as itis found in Man; and this is followed by an account of thedevelopment or embryology and comparative anatomy or morphology, as far as vertebrate animals are concerned; but only those partsof the lower animals which are of interest in explaining Man's structure are here dealt with. The articles have a twofoldpurpose; first, to give enough details of man's structure to make the articles on physiology, surgery, medicine and pathologyintelligible; and, secondly, to give the non-expert inquirer, or the worker in some other branch of science, the chief theorieson which the modern scientific groundwork of anatomy is built.
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