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Anatomy (from the Greek ἀνατέμνω - anatemnō, "cut up, cut open", from ἀνά - ana, "on, upon", and τέμνω - temnō, "I cut") is a branch of biology and medicine that considers the structure of living things. It is a general term that includes human anatomy, animal anatomy (zootomy), and plant anatomy (phytotomy). In some of its facets anatomy is closely related to embryology, comparative anatomy and comparative embryology, through common roots in evolution.
Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy (or macroscopic anatomy) and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy is the study of anatomical structures that can, when suitably presented or dissected, be seen by unaided vision with the naked eye. Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures on a microscopic scale. It includes histology (the study of tissues), and cytology (the study of cells). The terms microanatomy and histology are also sometimes used synonymously (in which case the distinction between histology and cell biology isn't strictly made as described here).
The history of anatomy has been characterized, over time, by a continually developing understanding of the functions of organs and structures in the body. Methods have also improved dramatically, advancing from examination of animals through dissection of cadavers (dead human bodies) to technologically complex techniques developed in the 20th century including X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI.
Anatomy should not be confused with anatomical pathology (also called morbid anatomy or histopathology), which is the study of the gross and microscopic appearances of diseased organs.
Superficial anatomy 
Superficial anatomy or surface anatomy is important in anatomy being the study of anatomical landmarks that can be readily seen from the contours or the surface of the body. With knowledge of superficial anatomy, physicians or veterinary surgeons gauge the position and anatomy of the associated deeper structures. Superficial is a directional term that indicates one structure is located more externally than another, or closer to the surface of the body.
Animal anatomy 
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Insect anatomy 
Main article: Insect anatomy
Vertebrate anatomy 
Bird anatomy 
Main article: Bird anatomy
Reptile anatomy 
Fish anatomy 
Main article: Fish anatomy
Mammal anatomy 
Main article: Mammal anatomy
Human anatomy 
Main article: Human anatomy
scan of the head
Human anatomy, including gross human anatomy and histology, is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the adult human body.. It differs from Physiology in that Anatomy is only the structures involved, and Physiology is the way those structures actually work.
Generally, students of certain biological sciences, paramedics, prosthetists and orthotists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, nurses, and medical students learn gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy from anatomical models, skeletons, textbooks, diagrams, photographs, lectures and tutorials, and in addition, medical students generally also learn gross anatomy through practical experience of dissection and inspection of cadavers. The study of microscopic anatomy (or histology) can be aided by practical experience examining histological preparations (or slides) under a microscope.
Human anatomy, physiology and biochemistry are complementary basic medical sciences, which are generally taught to medical students in their first year at medical school. Human anatomy can be taught regionally or systemically; that is, respectively, studying anatomy by bodily regions such as the head and chest, or studying by specific systems, such as the nervous or respiratory systems. The major anatomy textbook, Gray's Anatomy, has recently been reorganized from a systems format to a regional format, in line with modern teaching methods. A thorough working knowledge of anatomy is required by physicians, especially surgeons and doctors working in some diagnostic specialties, such as histopathology and radiology.
Academic human anatomists are usually employed by universities, medical schools or teaching hospitals. They are often involved in teaching anatomy, and research into certain systems, organs, tissues or cells.
Plant anatomy 
Main article: Plant anatomy
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Plant anatomy involves the structure of the cells, in contrast to animal cells. Plant cells have cell walls, chlorophyll, and lack mitochondria. They also contain larger reservoirs called Lysosomes. Plant lack the digestive organs common among animals because they create their own energy from the sun, in photosynthesis. This makes them more independent and also a source of energy for other animals.
Other branches 
- Comparative anatomy relates to the comparison of anatomical structures (both gross and microscopic) in different animals.
- Anthropological anatomy or physical anthropology relates to the comparison of the anatomy of different races of humans.
- Artistic anatomy relates to anatomic studies for artistic reasons.
See also 
General anatomy 
Anatomy by taxon 
External links