Organisation of the Body

  • Martin Caon


A large part of beginning the study of anatomy and physiology is learning the specialised words that are used. This new terminology may seem daunting, but the challenge lies in its unfamiliarity rather than its difficulty of comprehension. You must expect to encounter a lot of new words and be prepared to learn them over the course of your study. Most of the words contain information as the words are constructed with a prefix and a suffix or a stem that identifies the word as referring to a specific part of anatomy or physiology. Many anatomical and physiological terms are in fact descriptions. For example, extensor carpi radialis longus refers to a muscle that extends the hand at the wrist (the carpals), lies over the radius bone and is the longer of two muscles. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) refers to a molecule that contains units of a ribose sugar with an oxygen atom removed, attached to a base to form a nucleoside and also attached to a phosphoric acid. This sometimes makes the words rather long or unusual.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Caon
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Nursing and Health SciencesFlinders UniversityBedford ParkAustralia

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