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Animal and Plant Anatomy

Animal and Plant Anatomy

Anatomy is a branch of biology that involves the structure and organization of living bodies, and can be divided into animal anatomy and plant anatomy. The main branches of anatomy are comparative anatomy, histology and human anatomy.

In anatomical research, dissection is often used to study large organs, and microscopes are used to observe tissues, cells and organelles.

Diagram showing plant and animal anatomy

Anatomy science is a branch of biology classification animal anatomy and plant anatomy related figures medical scientist Galen research direction human anatomy and physiology the smallest unit cell.

Table of Contents

1. Basic introduction

2. Medical Value

    ▪ Related works

    ▪ Ancient Anatomy

3. A brief history of development

    ▪ Early

    ▪ Asia

    ▪ Western

    ▪ Modern

    ▪ Introduction to Global Development




Basic Introduction to Plant and Animal Anatomy

Anatomy Innovation: Plant and Animal Anatomy is one of the basic disciplines of medicine. In order to find out the cause and effective treatment, we should first understand and be familiar with the structure of the normal human body.

Anatomy is the subject of understanding the structure of the normal human body. After the ancient Egyptians died, the corpses were made into mummies, and the Egyptians accumulated certain anatomical knowledge in the long-term process of mummification. But at that time they were very superstitious about the human body, and made mysterious explanations for many of the structures of the human body. Influenced by religion, this practice made the Egyptians hate human anatomy very much.

In the period of Alexandria, the observation of human anatomy was discontinued, and the anatomy of animals was used instead.

Galen, a medical scientist in ancient Rome in the 2nd century AD, although he understood the importance of anatomy, he only applied the anatomical knowledge obtained from animals to the human body, so there were many mistakes. For example, he believed that the human liver has five lobes like a dog's, the liver is the source of the veins, and there are many invisible holes in the diaphragm of the heart, through which blood can pass freely, and so on.

Galen's autopsy works were for a long time canonized, and the medieval church strictly prohibited autopsies, making it impossible for people to correct these mistakes.


Human tomographic anatomy atlas

Vesalius in the 16th century directly observed the human body. When he was studying in Paris, he stole the corpse of a prisoner on the gallows. 

He also took a dead skull into the city hidden in a coat, put it under his bed, and even led students to steal it, past the tomb.

The French Inquisition noticed his "heretic" behavior, and he had to go to Italy to continue his medical studies, and was soon promoted to professor of anatomy after graduation. His book, The Structure of the Human Body, was published in 1543. In this work, he follows the anatomical sequence to describe the natural form and distribution of the human body's bones, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. 

The publication of the book "The Structure of the Human Body" signifies the birth of modern human anatomy. Its significance is the same as Copernicus' "On the Movement of the Celestial Bodies" opening a new era for astronomy, and it is a milestone in the history of biological development.

Biology includes the study of both human anatomy and physiology. Anatomy is the study of the structure of the human body, while physiology is the study of the function of the human body.

The human body is very complex, so anatomy contains different levels, from the smallest cells to the largest organs, and the relationships between organs. Gross anatomy is the study of human organs with the naked eye in the process of overall observation and dissection.

Cell anatomy is the observation of cells and their intracellular structures with the help of special equipment such as microscopes and special techniques.


Divisions of Human Anatomy:

1. According to the research method:

(1) Gross anatomy:  

1) Systematic anatomy

2) Regional anatomy

(2) Microanatomy

(3) Special anatomy


2. According to the research point of view:

(1) Describe the anatomy

(2) Functional anatomy

(3) Evolutionary anatomy: comparative anatomy and anthropology

(4) Developmental anatomy: embryology and age anatomy


3. According to the application purpose:

(1) Medical anatomy

(2) Art anatomy


Medical Value

The human body is very delicate, and most organs have a large reserve capacity to function properly even if damaged. For example, more than 2/3 of the liver must be destroyed before serious damage can occur. 

If one lobe of the lung is removed, as long as the other lung functions are normal, people can survive. Some organs can malfunction with minimal damage. For example, during a stroke, a small amount of brain tissue is damaged, and the patient may not be able to speak, move their limbs, or maintain balance.

A heart attack, which damages heart tissue, may only slightly impair the heart's ability to pump blood, or it may lead to death.

Disease affects anatomy, and changes in anatomy can cause disease. Abnormal tissue growth, such as cancer, can directly destroy normal tissue or compress normal tissue, causing destruction.

Another example is blocking the blood supply to the tissue, which can cause tissue necrosis (infarction) such as myocardial infarction or stroke (cerebral infarction).

Because of the close relationship between anatomy and disease, methods of examining the internal structure of the body have become the mainstay of disease diagnosis and treatment. The first major breakthrough was the discovery of X-rays, which allowed doctors to see inside the body and examine internal organs without surgery.

Another important advance is computed tomography (CT), which is a combination of X-rays and computers. CT scans produce detailed two-dimensional images of the internal structures of the body.

Other methods of producing images of internal structures include ultrasound scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which uses the motion of atoms in a magnetic field, and radionuclide imaging, which involves injecting radioactive chemicals into the body, to examine. These tests are all non-invasive compared to surgical procedures, which are invasive.


Anatomy Related Works

1. "An Overview of Taixi's Personality" and "Pictures of the Human Body" are two Western anatomical works translated by the Jesuits in the late Ming Dynasty. Outdated but classic anatomy work.

2. "Granny's Anatomy (39th Edition)" has been the most influential and authoritative book on anatomy in the world since its publication in 1858. After 39 revisions and reprints, its content is not only about the general anatomy of the macroscopic structure of the human body, but also about cellular and molecular biology. Broaden the theoretical connotation and application scope of anatomy. Great for researchers.

3. "Nate's Body Atlas" Knight is a very outstanding anatomy painter in the history of world art.


Ancient Anatomy

"The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine" includes two parts, "Su Wen" and "Lingshu", which introduced the theoretical knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine at that time in the form of questions and answers. "Lingshu. Gastrointestinal chapter" preached:

The Yellow Emperor asked Yu Bogao, "I would like to hear that the six prefectures have passed down the grains. How big is the size of the stomach? How much is the grain? Bogao said; The teeth are nine minutes long, and the mouth is two and a half inches wide. After the teeth reach the epiglottis, three and a half inches deep, large and five-fold. Tongue weighs twelve taels. Seven inches long and two and a half inches wide. It is two feet six inches in length, one foot five inches in size, and five inches in diameter. It has a large capacity of three buckets and five liters. The throat door weighs ten taels, is one and a half inches wide, and is one foot and six inches long to the stomach. The stomach is bent, bent, and stretched.

The small intestine is attached to the back of the ridge, and the left loop is superimposed on the circumference. When it is injected into the ileum, it is attached to the umbilicus, and it is transported back to the sixteen bends.

The ileum is the umbilicus, and the left ring descends from the peripheral lobes, and the circulatory ring is inverse sixteen curves.

Wide intestine Fu Ji, with the ileum, the left ring leaf ridge up and down, eight inches in size, more than half of two inches in diameter, and two feet eight inches in length. Where the stomach enters and exits, it is six feet and four inches in length, and the loop is reversed, and it is also thirty-two.

The "small intestine" in the above should be the duodenum and jejunum in Western medicine, the "ileum" should be the ileum and upper colon in Western medicine, and the "large intestine" should be the sigmoid colon and rectum in Western medicine. However, the demarcation line between "small intestine", "ileum" and "large intestine" above is rather vague and cannot be accurately described in Western medical anatomical terms. The length data of each segment is for reference only.

Moreover, the unit of "zhang", "chi", "inch" and other units in the metric length unit remains to be analyzed. However, people found that these questions can be temporarily skipped, and another way can be found from the length ratio of each segment of the digestive tract.

The ratio of the length of the adult esophagus to the length of the lower gastrointestinal tract (from the stomach to the anus) is fixed. According to modern anatomical data, the adult esophagus is about 25 cm long and the lower gastrointestinal tract is 925 cm long, and the ratio of the two is 1:37. In "Lingshu", the esophagus is 1 foot and 6 inches long ("the the stomach is 1 foot and 6 inches long"), and the lower digestive tract is 5 feet 5 feet and 8 inches long ("The small intestine... is 3 feet and 2 feet long.

The ileum 2 zhang and 1 chi in length. The large intestine 2 zhang and 8 cun in length"), and the ratio of the two is 1:35. Its so close. This shows that the data in "Spiritual Pivot" has been measured and accurate.

It's not over yet. If the esophagus is 1 foot, 6 inches and 25cm in length, one foot in "Lingshu. Gastrointestinal" is 15.6cm, and if the lower digestive tract is 5 feet, 6 feet, 8 inches in length and 925cm, "Lingshu. One foot in the stomach and intestines is 16.29cm. The length of the Shang Dynasty bone ruler unearthed in Anyang in the Nanjing Museum is 16.95 cm. Considering the individual differences in anatomy and the accuracy of weights and measures in ancient times, plus none of the 55 kinds of "chi" from the Western Zhou Dynasty to modern times is less than 22.7cm, it is certain that the length in "Lingshu. Gastrointestinal" is the Shang Dynasty the original data, and have not re-measured again.


A Brief History of Development in the Field of Antomy

Early History of development in the field of Antomy

The development of human anatomy, like other natural sciences, was developed by predecessors' continuous exploration, practice and accumulation of knowledge in the long historical process.

The knowledge of anatomy can be found in some ancient Chinese, Indian and Egyptian books, and this knowledge was only obtained by accidental observation during sacrifices, hunting and slaughtering, and war wounds. At that time, the main motivation for collecting knowledge about the structure of the human body was to study and treat human diseases, which later developed into a specialized discipline.


Anatomy Development in Asia

China and India have a long cultural history. As far back as the Spring and Autumn Period and the Warring States Period (200-300 B.C.), the earliest medical work "Huangdi Neijing" had records about human body shape. Field autopsies were performed and recorded. 

Hua Tuo, a famous doctor during the Three Kingdoms period, was not only good at medical skills, but also had a deep understanding of human body structure and could perform surgical operations with anesthesia. 

Acupuncture and moxibustion developed greatly in Jin Dynasty. Wang Shuhe's "Maijing" and Huangfu Mi's "Jiayi Jing" have many records of internal organs weights and measures. 

The only bronze caster of the king of the Song Dynasty, divided into 13 meridians of the viscera and annotated acupoints, and was the founder of the human body model. Song Ci of the Song Dynasty wrote "The Record of Atonement of Injustice", which has a more detailed record of human skeletons and embryos, and is accompanied by a bone examination map.

Yang Jie in the Northern Song Dynasty was the most important anatomist in my country in the modern period. His works on the internal structure of the human body, "Cunzhen Tu" and "Cunzhen Huanzhong Tu", have far-reaching influence. His books still exist in the Ming Dynasty, but were lost after entering the Qing Dynasty. Yang Jie was a famous doctor in Sizhou. When Li Yixing was the governor of Sizhou, he once executed a prisoner. He organized Yang Jie and painters to dissect the corpse and observe the internal organs of the tortured corpse. 

Huang Gongwu commented: "It is far from the "Ou Xifan Five Zangzang Map", and it is really beneficial to medicine." The "Ou Xifan Five Zangzang Map" is also from the Northern Song Dynasty. 

It was Du Qi who suppressed the rebellion in Guangxi and executed hundreds of people including Ou Xifan. Later, the doctor and painter were ordered to dissect it. 

The viscera maps before the Tang Dynasty were all separate viscera maps, and there was no complete map or series of maps. 

Until the five dynasties Yanluozi painted the spiritual picture "Yanluotu", the whole map and map of the viscera appeared. "Cunzhen Tu" benefited from the above-mentioned two pictures and corrected their mistakes, drawing a map of the composition system, which is a leap in our country's anatomy. 

Many viscera and interior pictures in the Ming and Qing Dynasties are based on the "Cunzhen Tu", or quoted from the original picture, or derived into new pictures, which have been influential for more than 700 years.

Wang Qingren (1768-1831) of the Qing Dynasty wrote the book "Medical Forest Correcting Errors" through 42 years of long-term observation. He corrected many errors in ancient medical books in terms of human body knowledge, especially the internal organs. The brain is the thinking organ of the human body. It is another leap in traditional anatomy in my country after Yang Jie.


The entry of Western anatomical knowledge into China began in the late Ming Dynasty. "In 1643, "A Brief Introduction to Taixi Personality" was published. Qing beginners Bi Gongchen and Liu Xianting, mid-Qing medical scientists Wang Xuequan, Wang Sheng, Wang Shixiong, and scholars Yu Lichu, Yao Heng, and Zheng Fuguang all read and quoted the book. However, the dissemination of anatomy in China and its revolutionary influence began with Hexin's translation of "The New Treatise of the Whole" in 1851. The book influenced the Chinese intellectual circle for half a century, and even when Lu Xun went to study in Japan in 1904, Choosing to study medicine is also somewhat affected by this.


History of development in the field of Antomy in The West

The true record of anatomy in Western medicine began from the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC). He gave the correct account of the skull, but confused nerves with tendons. 

Another Greek scholar, Aristotle (384-322 BC), was the founder of zoology. He distinguished between nerves and tendons, and pointed out that the heart is the center of blood circulation, and blood flows from the heart into the blood vessels. But he applied the results of animal dissection to humans. 

Galenus (130-200), a famous physician and anatomist in ancient Rome, wrote many works on medicine and anatomy, pointing out that blood was preserved in vessels, not air, and finding that spinal nerves were distributed regionally.


Da Vinci's Human Anatomy

But the material he studied was limited to animals. In the era when religion ruled everything in the Middle Ages, it was absolutely forbidden to dissect human corpses, resulting in some misunderstandings in anatomy for more than a thousand years.

Diagram showing Da Vinci's human anatomy

After the Renaissance in the 15th century, a new era of independent research and creation began in science and academia, and human anatomy also saw tremendous development.

Leonardo da Vinci (1510), known as a scientist and an artist, also dissected corpses and left a sketch of the human body after dissection. The most representative figure in this period was the Belgian doctor Vesalius. (A.Vesalius, 1514-1564). He is the founder of modern anatomy, published in 1543 "the structure of the human body" masterpiece, founded and laid the foundation of human anatomy.

In the 17th century, Harvey (W.Harvey, 1578-1657) discovered the principle of blood circulation. Malpighi (M. Malpighi, 1628-1694) proved the communication between arteries and veins, and further studied the microstructure of animals and plants. In the 19th century, Darwin (C. Darwin, 1809-1882)'s "Origin of Species" and "The Origin of Man and the Selection of Sex" provided a theoretical basis for exploring the development law of human body morphological structure. Zagorsky (1764-1846) proposed the idea that function determines organ morphology. They have made outstanding contributions to the development of anatomy.


Modern History of development in the field of Antomy

In the 20th century, the development of medicine has promoted the in-depth study of anatomy. With the development of various visceral surgical operations such as thoracic surgery and liver surgery, new requirements have been put forward for the morphological study of blood vessels and pipes in organs.

Infographics on thoracic surgery

The application of computer-aided X-ray tomography (Computed tomography, CT for short) and ultrasound tomography also puts forward new requirements for cross-sectional anatomy.

Establishment of Microsurgical Anatomy. Human anatomy is constantly developing, especially in recent decades, the development of new theories and technologies such as physics and biochemistry, the progress of multidisciplinary comprehensive research, and the establishment and development of edge disciplines such as biomechanics.

Morphological research such as biology also tends to lead to comprehensive disciplines, the situation of pure morphological research is changing, and some emerging technologies such as tracer technology, immunohistochemistry technology, cell culture technology and in situ molecular hybridization technology, etc.

Widely used in morphological research, this ancient discipline evokes youthful splendor, especially neuroanatomy has developed by leaps and bounds.


Introduction to Global Development in the field of Anatomy

As we all know, medicine developed in the Shang Dynasty, and there are records of various diseases in oracle bone inscriptions. In addition, human sacrifice and sacrifice were prevalent at that time. At most, more than 2,000 people were murdered at a time in laying foundations, funerals, and sacrificial sacrifices.

The methods of beheading, amputation, and caesarean section were extremely cruel. Social status is no different from livestock. In this case, there will be no public resistance to conduct autopsy research on these cadavers, and even the possibility of a vivisection cannot be ruled out. The data in "Lingshu. Gastrointestinal" is likely to be obtained in this way.



This can be referred as a polysemous word with 4 meanings in all

Anatomy: Sub-discipline of Biology

Anatomy: A book published by Science and Technology Literature Publishing House in 2008

Anatomy: A book published by the People's Medical Publishing House in 2007

Anatomy: A book published by the People's Military Medical Publishing House in 2005




 Author's Bio

Name: Ian Skyler

Education: MBBS, MD

Occupation: Medical Doctor 

SpecializationCommunity Medicine, General Surgery, Natural Treatment

Experience: 18 Years as a Medical Practitioner


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