Questions tagged [human-anatomy]

This tag is for questions about the general anatomical features of human beings as opposed to the anatomy of non-human animals.

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Profile of a human foot

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask this question, so please let me know in case it is not. My question is just out of curiosity. What is the reason for curved human foot profile? First ...
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1answer
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In endochondral bone formation, why does only hyaline cartilage get ossified to form bone?

There are three types of cartilage: hyaline, fibrous and elastic cartilage. Fibrous cartilage does not have perichondrium...so it does not take part in ossification because perichondrium needs to ...
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Medical terminology for asymmetrically-shaped paired body parts?

Some people have different sized feet [source], a limb that is slightly longer than the contralateral (on other side of the body) limb [source], or other instances of paired body parts being different ...
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Does variation in human gut length vary predictably with diet of ancestors?

Background: Numerous online searches, textbooks and other sources seem to pin the average length of the human gut from mouth to anus (oroanal) between about 5-10m in length. To pick a reputable ...
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1answer
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What is the function of epiglottis?

The last time I came across this question was when I was in high school. And the explanation I was given is that epiglottis works like a valve, it prevents foods from getting into the windpipe. Still, ...
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1answer
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Why do humans have flat faces, as compared to chimps?

Apparently adult, particularly older human faces resemble infantile chimps more tham they resemble any other adult hominid. And adult humans even have as many body hair follicles as infantile chimps. ...
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1answer
52 views

Are your finger muscles and tendons interconnected?

Are finger muscles and tendons interconnected? If they are interconnected, then if i exercise one finger will it train the other fingers since they are interconnected and share the same muscles in the ...
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1answer
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Is the 6th rib attached to 7th rib, and 7th rib to 8th?

I'm just confused between a lot of pics that draw the thoracic cage in their way. what are these white things that I've shown? or why the 7th rib is attached to the 8th?
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Why can't people talk while inhaling?

Why do we have to exhale in order to talk? From looking on Wikipedia, it seems like it has something to do with the glottis, but I'm not clear on the mechanism that makes speech sound so different ...
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Why do arteries have a small lumen? [closed]

My biology textbook says that arteries have a small lumen relative to the thickness of their walls. I understand why they need thick walls, to withstand high pressure and stretch etc. But when ...
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1answer
81 views

Is the backward positioning of photoreceptors bad design?

(Several questions have been asked about this topic but most are quite old and there has been at least one study since then that has attempted to answer this in a new way) Since photoreceptors are ...
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How did we evolve to raise our arms when someone kicks a football at us

How did we evolve to raise our arms to protect our vital organs when we see a projectile hurling towards us a prey attacking and to break our fall by using hands. Surely this couldnt have happened ...
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1answer
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Do women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos than men?

I've always heard that women tend to have a greater leg length to torso length ration than men, and I think that my anecdotal observations of pedestrians of both sexes tend to confirm that. However, ...
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1answer
36 views

Are “sympathetic nerves” the same as “cardiopulmonary splanchnic” nerves?

I've gathered from a number of sources (e.g., Patel (2015), Wikipedia, and here) that the sympathetic nerves leaving the sympathetic trunk to innervate the heart and lungs are called "cardiopulmonary ...
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Is superior surface of bladder covered with visceral peritoneum OR parietal peritoneum?

As above. I am confused about the definitions here. Is it the case that every time the peritoneum touches an organ it becomes visceral peritoneum?
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Special visceral efferent

Why are special visceral efferent nerves are named as such? They are supplying motor impulses to muscles of pharyngeal arch, which are both skeletal(facial) and visceral(laryngeal) 1, so why only ...
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2answers
139 views

What is the easiest way to measure a human body surface area? [closed]

Looking for accuracy, cost-efficiency, and speed: this could provide useful information for determining individual bioinformatic calculations, pertaining to, for example cell type estimation, for ...
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1answer
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Why is a penis an organ?

According to Wikipedia an "An organ is a group of tissues with similar functions". I don't know anything about anatomy but it doesn't seem to me that a penis can be delimited somewhere to form a "...
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1answer
30 views

How can a joint extend or flex?

The idea of a joint flexing or extending doesn't make sense to me, I can see how a leg or an arm might extend or flex but how does a joint extend or flex ? "The hip joint is most stable when it is ...
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51 views

Why doesn't the spinal cord get thicker the further up we go?

The cervical and lumbar enlargements exist on the spinal cord as a result of the increased nerve input/output required for the arms and legs respectively. However, I don't understand how the ...
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1answer
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Is the human iris concave or convex?

Most drawing and 3D modeling tutorials show the iris to be concave. But all the diagrams I Googled show the iris is at best flat, otherwise even a little convex (discounting the optical distortion in ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the ratio of head to waist and waist to floor of the human anatomy?

I'm trying to find the ratio of upper body to lower body. That is, the ratio of the length of the waist to the head over the length of the waist to the floor. It's been harder to track down a ...
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1answer
292 views

What's a “constitutionally small penis”?

I'm reading some urology papers and came across one involving penis growth (Kim & Song, 2008); here's an intro passage that I'm confused about: A total of 58 patients with constitutionally ...
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2answers
553 views

Why do hair on head not get pilo-erected?

Whenever we have "goosebumps", there is a momentary piloerection, due to which hair on our elbows and legs get "erected" and "stand" almost perpendicular to the surface of our skin. But why do our "...
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1answer
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Why is the thyroid gland in the neck?

The neck seems like an odd place for it. All other neck anatomy must interface between the head and abdomen (trachea, esophagus, circulation, spine etc). Surprisingly I have not been able to find ...
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1answer
24k views

Do human anal glands have any function?

Anal glands in all kinds of animals play a range of diverse functions - providing fat for preening feathers or waterproofing fur, generating distinct scent, even repelling predators. None of the ...
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Origins of the body mechanics theory

In physical therapy and occasionally in sports coaching, there's often a precise description of the mechanics of what happens during the movement (which muscles are engaged, which joint moves where ...
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1answer
204 views

What are the coverings of femoral hernia?

It was my Viva question and I was really puzzled.I know what is femoral hernia and it route like the abdominal content moves down the femoral canal and further through the saphenous opening and all ...
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2answers
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Is the prostate problem unique to humans?

In human males the urethra goes through the prostate rather than around it, which tends to create problems for older men as the prostate enlarges. Is this only a human problem or do other animals, ...
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1answer
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How many different states can the femur and lower limb be in?

Often the knee can be thought of as a hinge joint. However, when it flexes, the knee permits the lower leg to rotate. So it is not a pure hinge joint in absolute sense because it permits more range of ...
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1answer
81 views

Genes associated with human female breast size

What are the genes associated with female breast size and natural variation thereof in human beings?
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What are the differences between internal organs between sub-saharan Africans and Northern Europeans

Lets take as examples a typical Norwegian and a typical Nigerian. In terms of human anatonomy the outer differences are more obvious e.g. (on average) White skin vs dark skin Pointy nose vs broad ...
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1answer
85 views

Are there any benefits/disadvantages/traits from having a permanent lower core temperature?

My body temperature as far as I remember has always been around 35.6 degrees Celsius, that's a degree less than what is the usually quoted as the average temperature for humans. Are there any known ...
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1answer
72 views

True anatomical/physiological explanation for “metaphysis” etymology

The anatomy textbook1 I use for my students states that the prefix meta- means "between:" The metaphyses (me-TAF-i-sez; meta = between; singular is metaphysis) are the regions between the diaphysis ...
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1answer
37 views

Does cartilage connect to other cartilage?

In the definition of a Ligament in Oxford states: A short band of tough, flexible fibrous connective tissue which connects two bones or cartilages or holds together a joint. the wording of "two" ...
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1answer
59 views

Why is there disagreement on the number of surfaces of the human heart?

I am finding that some state that there are 5 and some that say that there are 3. For example, "Cardiology: An Integrated Approach" that was published in 2018 states that There are 3 surfaces of ...
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1answer
19k views

Do male humans have a mons pubis?

Wikipedia writes: In human anatomy, and in mammals in general, the mons pubis (also known simply as the mons, and known specifically in females as the mons Venus or mons veneris), is a rounded mass ...
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What's the function of vitelline circulation in human embryo?

Why do we need a vitelline circulation if we already develop a placenta to gather all the nutrients we need? Is it an evolutionary remain?
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How much blood do we have when the heart first starts to beat?

How much blood do we have when the heart beats for the first time? It should be between the third and fourth week of embryonic life.
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Reflex muscular activity in three months old fetus

At the end of the third month, reflex activity can be evoked in aborted fetuses, indicating muscular activity This quote is from Langman's Medical Embriology. Have I misunderstood it or it is ...
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1answer
184 views

What does lymph actually look like?

I have scoured Google and a number of my anatomy textbooks for a picture of lymph. However, I cannot find any such photo (or video) showing its actual appearance. Can someone provide a reputable ...
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1answer
74 views

Why does smoking change the human voice?

What happens to the biology of the voicebox of smokers? Women's voices can change to croaky men's voices, and vaper's voices develop "white noise" content, like a TV set to static, compared to their ...
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5answers
41k views

What makes humans omnivores, and not herbivores?

Some vegans claim that humans are herbivores, not omnivores, and that we are not physiologically designed to eat meat (see here: http://www.peta.org/living/food/natural-human-diet/). "According to ...
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2answers
830 views

Could humans theoretically see infrared better than regular light?

I have noticed that in infrared film, people's eyes reflect that light within their eyes much like nocturnal animals (and many other animals for that matter) do with regular light. I know that this is ...
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1answer
205 views

Are there certain symmetric-pair muscles that are slightly bigger and NOT due to handedness?

Ok, hear me out, I was just thinking about an article in Nature I read in the past titled "Scrotal asymmetry in man and in ancient sculpture"$^{\dagger}$ and more recently an entire medical textbook ...
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2answers
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Are there nerves in the umbilical cord?

I have always imagined that cutting the umbilical cord after birth might be painful. But I have always been confused about who would feel the pain and why. It occurred to me that the mother or the ...
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1answer
42 views

What are the differences between the margins of the lateral and medial condyles of the tibia?

During an osteology lecture about the bones of the leg, the professor mentioned that the posterior (i think it was the posterior at least, I didn't write my notes down very well) margins of the ...
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1answer
64 views

Does the cranial dura consist of the periosteum? and if not, then is there a mistake in my textbook?

My textbook (Neuroanatomy an illustrated colour text) states that: The spinal dura and much of the cranial dura are separate from the periosteum, which forms the inner lining of the surrounding ...
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1answer
336 views

Why are human bones usually curved?

Is there any simple explanation as to why human bones are more curved than straight and are thicker at ends and thinner in the middle?
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Biological & Evolutionary Reasons for Palm (Bi)Symmetry

The fingers of the human palm exhibit a (bi)symmetrical pattern with regards to their size, in the sense that the thumb and the pinky are almost the same size, and the same holds for the index and ...

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