Difference Between Anatomy and Physiology

Main Difference

The main difference between the Anatomy and Physiology is that the Anatomy is the study of the structure of living things and Physiology deals with the study of functions and mechanism involved in working of a living system.

Anatomy vs. Physiology

Anatomy deals with the structure of living things, while physiology deals with the functions of parts of living things. Anatomy has two main branches named Gross and Microscopic anatomy, whereas Physiology has two main branches named Cell and Systems Physiology. Anatomy is concerned with shape, size, the position of cells, tissues, and organs; on the other hand; Physiology is concerned with the function of cells, tissues, and organs. Anatomy does not deal with the chemical changes in the human body, while Physiology deals with the functions affected by chemical changes in the body.

Comparison Chart

AnatomyPhysiology
The Anatomy is classified as a branch of biology which deals with the structure of living thingsThe Physiology is the branch of biology which deals with the study of the functions and mechanisms involved in working of a living system.
Classified As
Branch of biologyBranch of biology
Main Branches
Gross Anatomy
Microscopic Anatomy
Cell Physiology
System Physiology
Concerned With
Shape
Size
Position
Structure
Blood and nerve supply
The normal function of the cell
Diseased state function of the cell
Mechanisms involved in working of a living system
Regulation of body functions

What is Anatomy?

The Anatomy is classified as a branch of biology which deals with the structure of living things, which include animals, humans, and plants. Human anatomy is considered an essential basic science that is important for its role in medicine. Anatomy has two further subdivisions called Gross and Microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy deals with all structure, which can be seen by the naked eye, and there is no need to use a microscope to observe the structure. Gross anatomy is also called Macroscopic anatomy. Microscopic anatomy deals with all structure which cannot be seen by the naked eye, and a microscope is needed to observe the structure. Anatomy is also categorized as human anatomy and comparative anatomy. Human anatomy deals with the study of the structures of humans and is further classified as regional and systematic anatomy. Regional anatomy deals with the external parts of the body, such as legs, knees, hands, and arms. Systematic anatomy deals with the inner parts of the body such as nervous system, digestive system, and circulatory system. Comparative anatomy deals with the study of the resemblance and diversity among living organisms. Comparative anatomy is mostly related to animals, and it finds the similarities in the structure of present living things with the structure of the ancient living creatures. Comparative anatomy also finds the difference between different parts of the organism for the function. Anatomy is also classified as vertebrate anatomy and invertebrate anatomy. Vertebrate anatomy includes the study of the structure of vertebrates, and it includes anatomy of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Invertebrate anatomy includes the study of the structure of invertebrates, and it includes arthropod anatomy. However, the term Anatomy is commonly used for human anatomy. Anatomy is concerned with the study of shape, size, structure, position, blood supply and innervation of an organ, e.g. stomach

What is Physiology?

Physiology is the branch of biology which deals with the study of the functions and mechanisms involved in working of a living system including animal, plant, human, and microorganisms. Human physiology has its importance in medicine. Physiology is considered the science of life and is also known as an experimental science. Physiology also deals with the study of those functions of a living system which respond to changes. Physiology studies the mechanism of life in a single cell to the whole organism level, including the influence of hormones on the behavior and functions of a single cell and whole organ. Physiology not only studies the function of a normal cell, but it also studies the function of the diseased cell where Physiology is termed as pathophysiology. Physiology is different from other branches of biology in that its emphasis is on the integration of cellular and molecular functions of the whole body. Physiology is further classified as the cells physiology, systems physiology, Evolutionary physiology, defense physiology, and exercise physiology. Cell Physiology focuses on the study of membrane transport and is concerned with neuronal transmission. Systems Physiology focuses on the ways of converging of individual cells into the whole body to respond to chemical changes in the body. Evolutionary Physiology deals with the organs which have adapted and have changed with generation after generation. Defense Physiology deals with the changes in the result of a reaction of the potential threat, e.g., during fight and flight response. Exercise Physiology deals with the study of the physiology of cell involved in physical exercise.

Key Differences

  1. Anatomy deals with the structure of living things, while physiology deals with the functions of parts of living things.
  2. Anatomy deals with the size, shape, position and blood and nerve supply, whereas Physiology deals with the function of cells both in a normal and diseased state.
  3. Anatomy does not deals with chemical changes while Physiology deals with chemical changes in the body as they change the function of a cell.

Conclusion

The main conclusion of the above discussion is that both anatomy and physiology are branches of biology and have a significant role in understanding the overall structure and function of living systems.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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