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History of Anatomy

  • Greek sculptures with high detail
  • Leonardo da Vinci – dissected 30 bodies
  • Public dissecting rooms – 1594 Padua, first public permanent dissecting room
    • Performed in winter months to prevent smell
    • Religions were ambivalent
    • Tilt table with water channel, convenient in case of religious intervention
  • Leiden – Holland 1594, second permanent dissecting room
  • Wandelaar (artist) and Albinus (anatomist) produced anatomy books
  • Modern times – Plastination
    • 1975 Dr Gunther von Hagens
    • Water is removed under vacuum and replaced with a polymer that sets
      • Thus, specimen becomes odourless, semi-rigid and dry
      • Easily displayed and taken on international travelling exhibitions

Basic anatomy terms

Basic anatomy terms
  • Axial skeleton = skull, vertebrae, sternum ribs, hyoid
  • Appendicular = pectoral and pelvic girdles, limbs

Types of bones

  • Long (humerus), short (wrist), flat (parietal), irregular (vertebra), sesamoid (develop post-natal, patella)
    • Features of a long bone are seen in the diagram

Types of joints

  • Fibrous (least mobile) – joined by fibrous connective tissue made of collagen
    • Sutures – small distance between bones
      • Unite skull bones and often have irregular and interlocking edges
    • Syndesmoses (syn – together, demos – membrane) – greater distance between bones
      • Permit slight movement, eg ulna – radius
    • Gomphosis (gomph – bolt in socket, sis – state) – very small distance between bones
      • Least mobile joint, eg tooth joint dependent on the periodontal ligament
  • Cartilaginous (more mobile) – held together by fibrocartilage with no fluid filled sac
    • a little rotation, eg intervertebral disk
  • Synovial (most mobile) – separated by synovial fluid in a sac, a very thin film
    • Synovial cavity filled with fluid – a mere film of fluid
      • Slight suction in all synovial joints (slightly subatmospheric)


Synovial joint
  • Provide a cushion between bones and tendon and/or muscles at a joint
    • Often accompany synovial joints
    • diagram


  • contract and flex
  • attached to bones by connective tissue that can be sheet like (aponeurosis) or cord like (sinew, tendon)
    • diagram

Skeletal muscle

Terms relating to muscles
  • Attached to the skeleton
  • 40-50% body weight
  • Normally voluntary muscles
  • Riddled with collagen


  • Soft tissue component of connective tissue
  • Surrounds muscles, bones, organs, nerves, blood vessels
  • Muscle with one connection to bone, the other to skin
  • Provides support and protection
    • Superficial fascia – below the skin
    • Deep fascia – surrounds muscles, bones, nerves and blood vessels
    • Visceral fascia – suspends organs in their cavities
  • Note: deltoid – delta, in the shape of
  • Note: bones have a rich vascular structure
  • Note: cartilage is avascular – joint use is required to move nutrients instead of blood

More anatomical terms