Human Anatomy for Beginners

We live every day in our bodies, but how much do we really know about our own human anatomy? This quiz will help you determine if you know your funny bone from your femur.

We certainly don’t swear it will certify you to perform any medical procedures (and certainly not any MacGyver style ones with pen caps or other offbeat tools), but you might at least be able to convince others you’ve seen more than one episode of "Grey's Anatomy"!

Did you know?

The History of Anatomy

The medical science of anatomy is believed to have been around since the early Stone Age. Alcmaeon (ca. 500 BC) is the first man known to dissect a human body for research. Up until that point, people were more likely to dissect animals for the purpose of predicting the future or telling fortunes. Alcmaeon is also credited with being the first to propose the brain as the center of intelligence. Herophilus (ca. 335-280 B.C) later studied the brain futher, and Erasistratus (ca. 310-250 B.C) focused his dissections of the human body on the circulatory system.

In the fourteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) produced hundreds of anatomical drawings made from dissection. The man known as the Father of Anatomy was Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564), who published the first book to carefully integrate text and drawings from dissections and offer a more objective view of anatomy.

The English physician and anatomist William Harvey (1578-1657) took Vesaliu's studies even further when he sought to describe how the heart acts as a pump based on first-hand observation and experimentation. The publication of his article prompted others to take a more scientific approach to the study of anatomy.

In 1858, English surgeon Sir Henry Gray published the seminal text of gross human anatomy. Gray’s Anatomy remains a leading resource to this day (and suggested the title of TV’s Grey’s Anatomy too).

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