Structure and Anatomy Help

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Aug 30, 2011

Introduction to Structure and Anatomy

All organisms have some type of structure . A structure is literally a “building” up of something from a number of different parts. The structure of an organism, therefore, is the arrangement or pattern “built” up from its individual body parts. The head, neck, and black spots of a giraffe, for instance, help “build” up its entire body pattern.

Anatomy ( ah-NAT -oh-me) is body structure and the study of body structures. Every kind of organism has its own unique type of anatomy (body structure). When this anatomy is internal , being located “inside,” it is studied by dissecting or cutting up the body. This reveals why the word, anatomy, exactly means “the process of cutting” (- tomy ) the body “up or apart” ( ana -). The internal anatomy of a frog, for example, is revealed whenever its body is dissected or cut apart.

There are two basic subdivisions of anatomy. These are gross anatomy, which studies large body structures (visible to the naked eye), and microscopic ( my -kroh- SKAHP -ik) anatomy, which studies “tiny” (micro-) body structures (invisible to the naked eye). [ Study suggestion: Carefully review Figure 1.1. Which of the organisms pictured represent cases of gross anatomy? Which represent microscopic anatomy?]

Both bacteria (bak- TEE -ree-ah) and the amoeba (ah- ME -bah) can be classified as microbes ( MY -krohbs). A microbe is a “tiny” (micr) “living” (-obe) thing. Of course, microbes and other examples of microscopic anatomy can only be examined through a microscope.

A dead giraffe still has gross anatomy. And a dead microbe still has microscopic anatomy. Hence, anatomy occurs in both living and dead organisms (provided they have not decomposed).


Practice problems for these concepts can be found at:  The Coming Of Biology Test

Add your own comment