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Descriptive Anatomy

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Latin: describere - to describe
German: Deskriptive Anatomie

1 Definition

Descriptive anatomy is the name of a method or approach in the fields of anatomy which is distinguished by its mere descriptive approach on the structures of the human body.

2 Background

The descriptive anatomy is the most original form of anatomy. It is limited to the mere description of the outer appearance of an anatomical structure. Accordingly, functional, topographical and systematical aspects are excluded. Referring to this, the modern anatomy does not include the descriptive anatomy in its pure form. However, it is still the base of anatomy and offers the basic knowledge, which enables the detection of pathological changes of the human body. Historically, the descriptive anatomy was focused on the research of the physique of the human body which is indispensable for the medical profession.

Since antiquity, the description of the animalic anatomy was regarded rather as anecdotic. First since ages of renaissance the anatomy flourished again in fields of human medicine and later on in veterinary medicine. These two disciplines build up the base of the comparative anatomy.

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