Superficial anatomy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Superficial anatomy (also called surface anatomy) is a descriptive science dealing with anatomical features that can be studied by sight, without dissecting an organism. In particular, in the case of human anatomy, these are the form and proportions of the human body and the surface landmarks which correspond to deeper structures hidden from view, both in static pose and in motion. It is also called "visual anatomy".

In addition, the science of superficial anatomy includes the theories and systems of body proportions and related artistic canons.

Studying of superficial anatomy is the basis for depiction of human body in classic art.

Some pseudo-sciences such as physiognomy, phrenology and palmistry rely on superficial anatomy. (The relation is one-sided, like that of astrology to astronomy.)

This is a list of superficial anatomical features. That is to say, externally visible parts of the body in humans and animals.

Sorted roughly from cranial to caudal. Homologues share a bullet point and are separated by commas. Subcomponents are nested. Alternative names or category members in parentheses. Class in which component occurs in italic.

See also

Books: Drawing the Living Figure by Joseph Sheppard, ISBN 0-486-26723-7



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