Anatomy facts

comparative anatomy and embryology

comparative anatomy and embryology Comparative Anatomy

Around the same time, Andreas Vesalius was also making some strides of his own. A young anatomist of Flemish descent made famous by a penchant for amazing charts, he was systematically investigating and correcting the anatomical knowledge of the Greek physician Galen. He noticed that many of Galen’s observations were not even based on actual humans. Instead, they were based on animals such as apes, monkeys, and oxen. In fact, he entreated his students to do the following, in substitution for human skeletons, as cited by Edward Tyson : ““If you cant happen to see any of these, dissect an Ape, carefully view each Bone, &c. …” Then he advises what sort of Apes to make choice of, as most resembling a Man : And conclude “One ought to know the Structure of all the Bones
either in a Humane Body, or in an Apes ; ‘tis best in both ; and then to go to the Anatomy of the Muscles. ”” (Edward Tyson, Orang-Outang. . . , 1699, p. 59. ) Up until that point, Galen and his teachings had been the authority on human anatomy. The irony is that Galen himself had emphasized the fact that one should make one’s own observations instead of using those of another, but this advice was lost during the numerous translations of his work. As Vesalius began to uncover these mistakes, other physicians of the time began to trust their own observations more than those of Galen. An interesting observation made by some of these physicians was the presence of homologous structures in a wide variety of animals which included humans. These observations were later used by Darwin as he formed his theory of Natural Selection.

Leave a Reply

Back To Top