Subdivisions of anatomy 

Before studying subdivisions of anatomy first we have to understand anatomy and their functions then we will easily understand the subdivisions of anatomy.





Anatomy is the branch of biology which deals with the structures and parts of organisms. Anatomy is derived from Greek word anatomy which means cutting up. It is an old science. This field is tied to developmental biology, evolutionary biology, embryology, and comparative anatomy. Anatomy is divided into two major classes which are microscopic and macroscopic anatomy. In macroscopic anatomy, we study body structures with the naked eye while in microscopic anatomy we study body structures with the help of microscopes.

Anatomy is the scientific study of different structures of living organisms that include systems, parts, and tissues. in anatomy, we study the appearance and position of a structure and also study their positions and relationships with other parts of the body.  Anatomy is very different from physiology and biochemistry. In physiology, we study the function of various structures while in anatomy we study its structure, position, appearance, and relation.




Becoming an Anatomist

Anatomists are the people’s and experts who study the structures of living organisms. They study the organs and tissues of the body. Anatomists are also known as clinical anatomists or gross anatomists. Here are five tips for you if you want to become anatomists.

1. Earn a bachelor degree
2.  Complete studies
3.  Postdoctoral training
4.  Necessary licenses
5.  Opportunities for career advancement.














Subdivisions of anatomy

Initially, it was studied mainly by dissection but today the study of anatomy becomes very wide and studied by all possible techniques which enlarge the boundaries of anatomical knowledge.

The main subdivisions of anatomy are




It is studied on dead bodies usually with the naked eye, therefore, it is also known is Macroscopic anatomy.
Another term used for Gross Anatomy is cadaveric Anatomy. Gross anatomy is studied by two methods which invasive and noninvasive methods. In Gross anatomy, the most common method for the study is dissection. Dissection is a process in which the part of the cadaver is surgically opened and its organ studied.



gross anatomy



Cadaveric Anatomy anatomy can be done by two approaches

a.regional in which bodies are studied in parts like thorax, abdomen, upper limbs.
b. systemic in which the body is studied in a system like the respiratory system, circulatory system, etc.




2. Living Anatomy

Living is a subdivision of anatomy that revealed on living humans. Living anatomy is gaining importance in modern education day by day. The study of living anatomy is on the rise due to imaging technologies. The main requirement to study living anatomy is that the subject being studied is alive.

It is studied by


living anatomy




Embryology is the study of prenatal developmental changes in the individual. Embryology also additionally encompasses the study of various disorders that occurs before the birth of a baby. This field has a very long history.  Aristotle proposes its theory in the field of embryology that organisms develop from seeds or eggs. The theory of Aristotle is known as the theory of epigenesis. Modern embryology starts after the work of Von Baer.






Histology is the microscopic study of the structures of the human body. Histology is commonly studied by two types of microscope which are electron microscope and light microscope. In histology, we study the composition of a structure at the micro level. On the other hand, histopathology is the microscopic study if diseases tissues. In histology, we study tissues and there four main types of tissues in the body which are muscle tissues, nervous tissues, connective tissues, and epithelial tissues.





5. Surface Anatomy

surface anatomy is the study of deeper structures of the body in relation to the skin surface. This subdivision of anatomy deals with the structures that can be studied by sight.



surface anatomy



6. Radiographic

It is the study of bones and deeper organs by plain and contrast radiography. Radiographic anatomy is also known as radio anatomy or X-rays anatomy. In radiographic anatomy, we study the body structures through the use of radiographic films. In radiographic anatomy mainly x rays are used. X rays are electromagnetic radiations. X-rays imaging crates pictures of different parts of our body. X rays can be used to check broken bones or can spot pneumonia through chest X rays.

radiographic anatomy


7. Comparative

It is the study of the anatomy of other animals to explain the structures of the human body.


comparative anatomy




It deals with the application of anatomical knowledge to clinical practices.

applied anatomy



It is the study of factors that determine the form, shape, structure, and function of body parts.

experimental anatomy


10. Genetics

It deals with the study of information present in chromosomes.

Genetics is the branch of biology which deals with the study of genes, and heredity in living organisms. Gregor Mendel was the first who discovered genetics in the late 19th century. Heredity is the process in which passes genes to their offspring’s. Every child inherits genes and these genes express specific traits.  There are also some types of diseases that pass from parent to offspring through the process of heredity.

The genetic information is present in the nucleus of the cells. In the nucleus, chromosomes are present and the genetic information lies within the chromosomes in the form of genes. There are about twenty-three pairs of chromosomes on the human body.



Summary of subdivisions of anatomy

Anatomy is the branch of biology in which we study body structures. Anatomy is a wide field. In anatomy, we study the appearance, position, and relation of structures with other parts of the body. Anatomy is different from physiology because in physiology we study the functions of structures while in anatomy we study its composition, appearance, and positions. Due to its wide range of study doctors and anatomists divide anatomy into various branches which are known as subdivisions of anatomy. The main subdivisions of anatomy are Gross anatomy(also known as macroscopic anatomy), Histology(also known as microscopic anatomy), embryology, living anatomy, surface anatomy, applied anatomy, radiographic anatomy, experimental anatomy, and genetics. There are also many other subdivisions but the above are the main. People who are experts in anatomy are known as anatomists.