Anatomy: Definition, subdivisons, gross and microscopic

 What is anatomy?

Anatomy refers to the study of a living organism's structure. anatomy can be divided into two subdivisions: gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy focuses on macroscopic structures, such as organ systems or body parts, while microscopic anatomy examines smaller structures like cells. This blog post will be focusing on human anatomy!  Our anatomy includes all of the structures that make up our body, including organs and organ systems.

Anatomy has been studied for over 2,000 years. Anatomy is a branch of biology that examines the structure and functions of living things such as humans, animals (zootomy), or plants (phytotomy). Understanding human anatomy can be key to practicing medicine and other areas in health care. 

Anatomy what is it?

The etymology of the word "anatomy" derives from its Greek roots. It is traditionally defined as cutting up or dissecting, organisms for study purposes. In the past, students could only learn about how a body works by dissecting it. However, now that imaging technology has developed so much in recent years we can see inside of bodies without having to cut them open which is great for learning and reducing animal death!

Let's explore the world of anatomy. Three major areas are human, animal, and plant-based studies in this field.

Human Anatomy is related to studying all parts of our body including bones, tissues, etc while Animal Anatomy means learning about every detail regarding different species like their bone structure or skin type; Plant anatomy focuses on understanding plants' internal structures such as root tips or vascular bundles within leaves!

Subdivisions of Anatomy

There are two major types of anatomy: gross and microscopic. Gross (macroscopic) anatomy is the study of external and internal bodily organs that can be seen by the naked eye; while microscopic anatomy, also known as histology studies tiny structures such as tissues and cells. Gross anatomy can be divided into three different fields: surface, systemic and regional. Histology and cytology are two important topics studied within microscopic anatomy. Histology is a study of the cells and tissues found in an organism, whereas cytology is a more specific look at cell structure. These two studies are important to know because they give insight into how organisms function as well as what may be going wrong if something isn't quite right with them.

Gross anatomy

 Gross anatomy focuses on macroscopic structures, such as organ systems or body parts. Dissection and noninvasive methods may be used for studying gross anatomy. The overall goal is to collect data about the larger structures within organs and organ systems. In dissection, a scientist cuts open an organism — such as plants or the body of humans and animals — to learn about their internal structures.   

Noninvasive methods allow scientists to study anatomy without cutting open the organism. For example, imaging techniques like MRI scans or ultrasound may be used on humans and animals so that students can see inside of them without having to cut their skin! 

The following are a few subdivisions within gross anatomy: Surface anatomy is also known as topographical anatomy which focuses primarily on structures found at the surface of an organism's body such as muscles and bones; Systemic anatomy looks at how different organ systems work together within an animal or plant, while regional anatomy studies specific parts of a single organ system. All three fields focus on understanding structure and function to treat illness/disease if needed.

While there has been great progress with noninvasive ways of learning anatomy, dissection is still used by some schools to teach anatomy. Many different tools can be used for this purpose such as virtual dissection software or models made from clay!

Let's take a look at an example…

Example: Gross anatomy studies all parts of animals and humans' bodies including their organs, bones, etc. The study includes the functions of these structures to learn more about how they work. Dissecting organisms has been traditionally done with certain imaging techniques like MRI scanning but anatomical teaching tools also include things like plant/animal model kits which use noninvasive methods instead of cutting open plants/animals themselves. 

the divisions of gross anatomy are:

Surface anatomy

Systemic anatomy 

Regional anatomy


• Understand and examine the structures of the human body

• Prepare for a medical or healthcare career

• Enhance your understanding of how we function as organisms

• Thoroughly explore new concepts about anatomy

Microscopic Anatomy

Microscopic anatomy is a study of cells and tissues in animals, humans, and plants that are too small to see without the help of a microscope.  People learn about the structure of cells and how they relate to each other through microscopic anatomy. 

In this anatomy field, scientists study cells and tissues that are too small to see with the naked eye. Microscopic anatomy is a sub-discipline of anatomy because it focuses on studying cellular structures within an organism. There are two main subdivisions under microscopic anatomy: Histology studies the cell structure while cytology looks at how these cells function together as well as their different components such as nuclei or mitochondria etc. 

microscopic anatomy

Let's look more closely

Example: When learning about microscopic anatomy, students typically learn about histological techniques which focus on looking at the cells themselves whereas cytological methods deal more with individual parts of those cells like organelles! These practices can be used to better understand how plant/animal cells function. 


• By studying cells and tissues, microscopic anatomy is a step in understanding how the human body works

• Studying cells allows us to understand disease prevention methods such as vaccines and antibiotics 

• It can help doctors find diagnoses for patients who have an unknown cause of their symptoms.

• Learning about microscopic anatomy will allow you to learn more about our bodies! 

Human anatomy 

Every structure in the human body plays a precise role. The human body contains 200 bones, 650 muscles, 79 organs, and enough blood vessels to completely circle the globe! 

The bones in your body provide structure and protection for your organs and tissues. There are more than 200 different types of bones: long ones (such as those that form limbs) round ones (like those found in the skull), flat ones (in the rib cage), and irregularly-shaped one like vertebrae! Bones can be pliable or rigid - depending on their function; such as whether they support our weight while we're standing upright. 

human anatomy
human anatomy

To keep these parts working together properly, bones must also be connected to other structures by ligaments or tendons. Ligaments attach bone to bone while tendons connect muscles to bone.

Every organ in the human body has a very specific function. The organs that make up your digestive system process food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste from your body. Organs such as the skin protect you from germs, harmful objects, or ultraviolet radiation. Other vital organs include bone marrow (which produces blood cells), kidneys (responsible for removing wastes), and lungs (in charge of delivering oxygen to every cell). 

The cardiovascular system is responsible for supplying each cell with life-sustaining oxygen by transporting it through all parts of the body via red blood cells. During this process, carbon dioxide - a respiratory byproduct - is removed from circulation. This complex structure includes both veins and arteries: vessels carrying different types of fluids! Veins carry deoxygenated blood back to the heart while arteries carry oxygen-rich blood.

The lymphatic system is another important component of your body's circulatory system. This network of organ tissues and vessels helps rid your body of toxins, waste materials, dead cells, and other substances that would otherwise build up in tissue fluid. 

The nervous system sends signals throughout the entire human body - helping you move muscles, regulate temperature, and digest food! It also relays information between different parts/organs of the complex structure. The brain acts as a control center, receiving input from all over via nerves at its core (the spinal cord). Each nerve cell has one axon which conducts electrical impulses away from the neuron toward an adjacent or distant target cell.

The skin is the largest organ in your body! It covers all of you, including muscles and bones - acting as a protective barrier against germs/harmful objects or ultraviolet radiation (from sunlight). 


Neuroanatomy is a branch of medicine that studies anatomy and organization of nervous system structures to understand how they work. This includes both structure and function! The human brain has over 100 billion neurons, making it incredibly complex - especially because each neuron typically makes multiple connections with other cells. 

The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). These two structures work together to process information from all over your body before sending it toward response organs in the PNS! The CNS also controls automatic functions that keep you alive - such as breathing or heart rate. It does this through autonomic reflex arcs which have no conscious thought/control attached. 

For you to be able to read this article, your brain has been busy processing the information from all five of your senses! Your eyes allow you to see - a process which occurs when light enters them and is focused on the retina at the back...which converts it into electrical impulses sent towards neurons in the visual cortex. The auditory system helps us hear by allowing sound waves to enter via the outer ear canal, vibrate the eardrum & ossicles before being transmitted as vibrations throughout three small bones of the middle ear (malleus, incus, and stapes) then converted into nerve signals that are sent toward inner ear where vestibulocochlear nerve sends this data toward cochlea; organ filled with fluid and tiny hairs (called cilia ) which vibrate at different speeds producing nerve impulses that are sent toward auditory cortex of the brain.

The sense of smell is known as the olfactory system because it receives input from our nose via the nasal cavity. Here, specialized cells called neurons convert chemical cues into electrical signals that travel through a complex pathway before being interpreted by your brain! 

Taste also involves an incredibly complicated process - this time because there are four primary taste groups: sweet, sour, salty & bitter! Taste buds located on the surface of the tongue detect these flavors when chemicals enter the mouth and bind with receptor proteins embedded in cell membranes. This triggers the release of neurotransmitters onto nearby sensory nerves which transmit data towards a gustatory system of the brain.

The gustatory system is responsible for taste, along with a sense known as chemesthesis - this occurs when your body responds to certain chemicals via sensory neurons in the skin, nose, and mouth. For example, if you eat something spicy (such as curry) then chemoreceptors that signal temperature & pain are activated which sends signals toward the CNS! 

What do you study in anatomy?

The biological science of anatomy is concerned with the identification and description of body structures. It can also be described as studying major body structures by dissection or observation, even though it's most commonly known for its study about humans. 

Anatomy is the study of life science that studies organisms and their parts. It can be studied using either a cadaver or artificial human body, commonly known as an anatomy model. Each organism has five major organ systems: skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, circulatory system, and respiratory system. The different types of cells within these organs are also important to learn about to understand how they function together in the body for optimum health. Within each cell type exists many smaller structures like mitochondria (powerhouses), endoplasmic reticulum (ribosomes), lysosome (degradation centers), nucleus (command center). Learning all about them allows one to speak with authority on various topics.

What are the three types of anatomy?

Anatomy can be broken into three main categories: gross anatomy, microscopic anatomy, and clinical/surgical anatomy. Gross or macroscopic anatomy is the study of large organ systems using cadavers as models to help identify relationships between different parts. Microscopic anatomy uses human tissue samples under a microscope to see how each part functions alone and works with other parts for optimum health. Clinical or surgical anatomies focus on learning about specific organs so that doctors and surgeons know where things are within the body when they need them most during an operation. 

What is the difference between human anatomy and human physiology?

Anatomy is the study of how our internal and external body parts are arranged, whereas physiology is a deeper look at what those structures actually do.  Human anatomy can be summarized as a study of how something looks, whereas human physiology is the study of what those parts do.   

Anatomy can be defined as the study of how something looks, whereas physiology is a deeper look at what those structures actually do.  

What are some benefits of learning anatomy?

The biggest benefit is acquiring detailed knowledge about our bodies so we can better understand ourselves and others on an intellectual level enabling us to have great conversations without being intimidated by concepts from other fields/disciplines. This allows for increased understanding across disciplines which ultimately leads to new discoveries especially when it comes to medicine because knowing where things are within the body is incredibly important when it comes to successful operations. Another benefit of knowing our anatomy is that we can be more confident in speaking with medical professionals about what's going on because they'll have a greater understanding of how things are present within the human body, which allows them to give better advice or suggest next steps toward healing.

What are the 12 organs of the body?

Some of the main organs along with their functions are:

The brain controls all of the nervous systems and is located in our skull. 

The lungs are responsible for breathing, transporting oxygen to other parts of the body while removing carbon dioxide from them. The liver processes nutrients into glucose that can be used by cells throughout your body before processing it through its main function which is breaking down toxins within food products entering your digestive tract (intestines). The bladder stores urine, releasing it when necessary via urination whereas kidneys filter waste materials out of the blood so they cannot get reabsorbed back into circulation where they could cause harm. Our heart works with our arteries to pump nutrient-rich blood around our bodies whilst simultaneously controlling muscle contractions involved in having a pulse rate i.e., beating or pulsing/beating. Our stomach is where the digestive process begins once food enters our bodies, breaking down all of its contents before it can be absorbed into our circulation system. The pancreas produces enzymes that break down certain types of nutrients (proteins, carbohydrates) as well as producing insulin to help regulate how much glucose we have within us at any given time. 

The spleen filters old or damaged red blood cells out of your body via your bloodstream.  lymph nodes contain various white blood cells protecting you against infection and disease by fighting foreign invaders in their attempt to enter your body through mucus membranes like the nose or eyes for example. Finally, testicles are responsible for making sperm whereas ovaries produce ova/eggs which become fertilized.