In many respects a single cell is a preview of what a single organism such as ours would come to be. The cytoskeleton is the scaffolding frame of the body proper, just as the bone skeleton is in all of us. The cytoplasm corresponds to the interior of the body with all its organs. The nucleus is the equivalent of the brain. The cell membrane is the equivalent of the skin. Some cells even have the equivalent of limbs, cilia, whose concerted movements allow them to swim.
— Antonio Damasio, Self Comes to Mind

Human Anatomy: the study of the form and gross structure of the various parts of the human body. (OxfordMed) A multicellular “organism” such as an animal contains many "cells." (NCIt) Cells are organized into "tissues," and tissues are organized into "organs." (Brooker, 203)

Since humanity has started to investigate the world, human anatomy has remained closely linked to “medicine” and “surgery.” The treatment of deep wounds, of broken bones, or of a difficult birth, have all improved our knowledge of the structure of our body. (Anatomy, 9)


Articulation: in anatomy, the point or type of contact between two bones. (OxfordMed) "Joint" between bones or between segments of a stem or fruit. (Lawrence)

Body: the main or largest part of an organ (or cell). (OxfordMed) The entire physical structure of an organism. It is composed of anatomic systems, regions, cavities, and spaces. (NCIt)

Cilia: cell appendages. Tend to cover all or part of the surface of the cell. Beat in a coordinated fashion to help propel the organism through water. (Brooker, 72) Hair-like outgrowth present on the surface of many "eukaryotic" cells, which makes whip-like beating movements. The synchronized beating of cilia propels free-living cells, or, in stationary cells, produces a flow of material over the cell surface. (Lawrence)

Comparative Anatomy: the comparison of the structure of one animal or plant with the structure of a different animal or plant. (NCIt)

Developmental Anatomy: branch of anatomy concerned with the structural changes that take place between fertilization and maturity. (NCIt)

Diaphragm: the thin muscle below the lungs and heart that separates the chest from the abdomen. (NCIt) Contraction of the diaphragm increases the volume of the thoracic cavity aiding inhalation. (MeSH)

Epidermis: the outer layer of the two main layers of the skin. (NCIt) An outer cell layer of ‘dermal tissue’ (covering on various parts of a plant) that helps protect a plant from damage. (Brooker, G-13) In "vertebrates," a non-"vascular" 'stratified' tissue. (Lawrence) Adjective - ‘epidermal.’

Facet: a small flat surface on a bone or tooth. (OxfordMed) Smooth, flat, or rounded surface for articulation. (Lawrence)

Fiber: any threadlike structure forming part of the muscular, nervous, connective, or other tissue in an animal body. (Oxford)  An elongated cell or aggregation of cells forming a strand of muscle, nerve, or connective tissue. (Lawrence) Adjective - 'fibrous.'

Flagella: appendages that allow some “prokaryotes” a way to swim. (Brooker, 64) A single flagellum may propel a cell such as a “sperm cell” with a whiplike motion. Alternatively, a pair of flagella may move in a synchronized manner to pull a “microorganism” through the water. (Brooker, 72) Singular - ‘flagellum.’

Gastrointestinal System: pertaining to the "stomach" and "intestines." (Lawrence) (Includes) ingestion systems (mouth), storage structures (stomach), digestive and absorptive structures (intestines), elimination structures, and accessory structures. (Brooker, 852)

Abdominal Cavity: the area of the body that contains the "pancreas," stomach, intestine, "liver," "gallbladder," and other organs. (NCIt) That portion of the body that lies between the “thorax” and the “pelvis.” (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘abdomen.’

Alimentary Canal: the whole passage through the body, from mouth to anus, by which food is received, digested, etc. (Oxford) The tube through which food enters the body and solid waste is excreted in animals. (Lawrence) Also referred to as 'GI tract.'

Genu: any bent anatomical structure resembling the knee. (OxfordMed) A knee-like bend in an organ or part. (Also), the "anterior" end of the "corpus callosum." (Lawrence)

Gland: single cell or organized structure specialized to "secrete" substances such as hormones or mucus. (Lawrence) Any cell or organ which “synthesizes” and secretes some particular chemical substance or substances for use by the body or for excretion. (Oxford) A group of cells responsible for the secretion and release of a particular substance. (Indge, 123) Adjective - 'glandular.'

Globular: non-geometric shape. Already passed through primary, tertiary, quaternary structures. For example, protein “enzymes.” (Norman, 6/17/09)

Helix: an object of coiled form, either round an axis (like a corkscrew) or, less usually, in one plane (like a watch spring). (Oxford) Adjective - 'helical.'

Horn: a process, outgrowth, or extension of an organ or other structure. It is often paired. (OxfordMed) The hollow projections on the head of many animals, consisting of layers of… epidermis laid down on a bony base. (Lawrence)

Isthmus: a constricted or narrowed part of an organ or tissue. (OxfordMed) A narrow part inside the body that connects two larger structures. (NCIt)

Loin: the region of the back and side of the body between the lowest rib and the pelvis. (OxfordMed)

Lumbar: adjective relating to the loin. (OxfordMed) Pertaining to or near the region of the lower back in humans. (Lawrence)

Mantle: a thing that enfolds, enwraps, or encloses. (Oxford) 

Meatus: in anatomy, a passage or opening. (OxfordMed) A passage or channel, such as "auditory meatus" in the ear and 'nasal meatus' in the nose. (Lawrence)

Mucosa: the moist, inner lining of some organs and body cavities (such as the nose, mouth, lungs, and stomach). Glands in the mucosa make mucus. (NCIt) Forms the lining of many body cavities, such as the “digestive” tract, the “respiratory” tract, and the “reproductive” tract. Rich in blood and lymph vessels. (MeSH) Also referred to as ‘mucus membrane.’

Mucus: a thick, slippery fluid produced by the membranes that line certain organs of the body, including the nose, mouth, throat, and vagina. (NCIt) Slimy material rich in "glycoproteins" secreted by 'goblet cells' of mucus membranes or by mucus cells of a gland. (Lawrence)

Musculoskeletal System: the system of "muscles," "tendons," "ligaments," bones, joints, and associated tissues that move the body and maintain its form. (Includes the) framework that supports the soft tissues of vertebrate animals and protects many of their internal organs. The skeletons of vertebrates are made of bone and/or cartilage. (NCIt) Also referred to as 'skeletal system' and 'skeleton.'

Bone: calcified connective tissue that forms the skeletal components of the body. (NCIt) The hard extremely dense connective tissue that forms the skeleton of the body. (OxfordMed) Bone may be formed directly, or by ‘calcification' (a process in which calcium builds up) of cartilage. (Lawrence)

Cartilage: a firm, elastic, semi-opaque connective tissue of the body. (Oxford) There are three main types: smooth..., fibrous..., and elastic. (Lawrence)

Fibrocartilage: a tough kind of cartilage in which there are dense bundles of fibers in the matrix. (OxfordMed) A tough, flexible tissue that lines joints and gives structure to the nose, ears, larynx, and other parts of the body. (NCIt)

Joint: an anatomical structure or mechanism by which two bones are fitted and held together. (Oxford) Examples include the shoulder, elbow, knee, and jaw. Together with other joints and bones, a joint constitutes the skeletal system. (NCIt)

Ligament: a short band of tough, flexible fibrous tissue which binds together bones or cartilages; any membrane which supports an organ or keeps it in place. (Oxford) Strong, fibrous band of tissue connecting two or more movable bones or cartilages. (Lawrence)

Muscle(s): tissue in animals that is involved in movement of the organism and which also forms part of many internal organs. (Lawrence) Clusters of cells that are specialized to contract, generating the mechanical forces that produce body movement, exert pressure on a fluid-filled cavity, or decrease the diameter of a tube. (Brooker, G-24) Adjective - ‘muscular.’

Contraction: the shortening of a muscle in response to a “motor nerve” impulse. This generates tension in the muscle, usually causing movement. (OxfordMed)

Tendon: a band or cord of dense fibrous tissue which forms the termination of a muscle, and by which its pull is transmitted to a bone. (Oxford) Tissue connecting a muscle with a movable structure such as a bone. (Lawrence)

Pili: appendages that allow prokaryotes to attach to surfaces and to each other. (Brooker, 64)

Septum: a partition or dividing wall within an anatomical structure. For example, the ‘atrioventricular septum’ divides the "atria" of the heart from the (heart) "ventricles." (OxfordMed) A partition separating two cavities. In the heart, the septum (is) part of the heart muscle. It separates the right and left sides (of the heart) - both the “atria” and the “ventricles.” (Bynum, 293) Adjective - ‘septal.’

Sinus: “venous” chambers. (Patestas, 85) Any wide channel containing blood, usually venous blood. Venous sinuses occur, for example, in the “dura mater” and drain blood from the brain. Also an air cavity within a bone, especially any of the cavities within the bones of the face or skull. (OxfordMed) Air-filled extensions of the respiratory part of the nasal cavity. They vary in size and form in different individuals. (GHR) Any of various sinuses (as the ‘maxillary sinus’ and ‘frontal sinus’) in the bones of the face and head that are lined with mucous membrane derived from and continuous with the lining of the “nasal cavity.” (MeSH)

Thorax: the division of the body lying between the neck and the abdomen. (NCI) The upper part of the trunk. It contains the chief organs of the “circulatory” and respiratory systems. (MeSH) The chest in humans containing heart and lungs. (Lawrence)

Tubule: a small tube. (Lawrence) A small cylindrical hollow structure. (OxfordMed)

Tuft: a bunch of small (usually soft and flexible) things, as hairs, feathers, etc., fixed or attached at the base; specifically a tufted patch of hair on the head or chin. a cluster of short-stalked flowers etc. growing from a common point. (Oxford)

Viscera: the internal organs collectively. (Lawrence) The organs contained within the body; the digestive track, together with the heart, liver, lungs, etc. (Oxford) Adjective - ‘visceral.'

Vocal Cords: folds of mucus membrane that project into the "larynx" and whose "vibration" produces sound. (Lawrence) Pair of small bands of muscle that stretch from the front to back of the larynx. The vocal cords help prevent food entering the lungs and produce sound through vibration. (NCIt)