Anatomy

Toul'h
Image from Chris Shaeffer

Anatomy is the study of the physical structure of biological creatures, both terragen and alien, sub-sophont and sophont, natural and artificial (e.g. bionano, bioborg). It is an important sub-field of medical science.
 
Articles
  • Anatomist  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, modified from the original write-up by Robert J. Hall
    One who specializes in the study of Anatomy.
  • Bilateral Symmetry  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    Any organism or device having symmetry along only a single axis (left and right), in contrast to radial or spherical symmetry.
  • Biomechanics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Science that deals with the biont body as a mechanism to which the laws of physics are applied to study, treatment, and augment movement and athletic performance. Includes kinesiology, sports science, kinetic and athletic bioware and cyberware, and other topics.
  • Biophysics - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The study of biological structures and processes using the analytical methods of physics. Often involves hylonano, hylomeso, and other sensitive measuring equipment, to record both large and small scale molecular interactions. Areas of study may include the effect of energy use and radiation on cellular function, physical effects of nano and cybernetics on the body, theoretical applied nano-microbiology, and thermodynamic and electrical phenomenon within the body itself.
  • Complete Metamorphosis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The complete reorganization of the tissues of an animal during its life cycle from larva to adult, usually involving the addition of legs and wings. For example, the larval stage of butterflies and moths (the caterpillar) metamorphoses into a winged, flying adult.
  • Conformer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An individual, organism, or virtual, whose physiological, informational, or memetic state (e.g., body temperature, data protocol, belief structure, fashion-statements) are identical to, and varies identically with, that of eir surrounding environment.
  • Countershading  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    Body coloration in aquatic, aerial or microgravity animals in which the top and bottom sides are colored differently, serving to camouflage the animal from multiple perspectives. Generally, the top or lightward portion is much darker than the belly. Also seen in some bots or vehicles.
  • Cuticle - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Any tough but flexible non-mineral outer covering of an organism or of one part of an organism, produced by underlying living material. The similarity is only of function; different organisms may have cuticles that differ quite radically in origin, structure, and composition. For instance in Terragen organisms the cuticle might be the outer layer of dead skin cells on a human or other mammal, composed primarily of keratin, or the exoskeleton of an arthropod, composed primarily of chitin and various proteins, or the waxy coating that protects the the leaves and stems of land plants. Analogous structures also called cuticles may be found on a variety of non-Terragen organisms, though the actual materials may be quite radically different. For instance, cuticular material on the organisms of the world of Chorus typically contains chlorocarbon polymers.
  • Deciduous - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    The property of losing some body parts (such as leaves, in the case of plants, or horns or antlers in the case of some Terragen ungulates) at the end of a season or when conditions change such that they are a liability. The deciduous habit has evolved independently on a number of natural biospheres and among many different phyla and kingdoms of organisms, indicating it is an adaptive evolutionary attractor.
  • Ecdysis - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Molting or shedding a hard skin or exoskeleton to make way for new one. Old Earth arthropods are well known for this, as do a number of less well known phyla, as do xenobionts of similar morphotype. Terran caterpillars molt four to five times during their development. Limners molt at least 25 times during growth from egg to adult.
  • Echolocation - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Using sound waves as an adjunct or an alternative to vision. On Old Earth, cetaceans and bats are the best known echolocators. A number of blind, poor-sighted, nocturnal, or aquatic species on a number of different worlds have evolved various forms of echolocation. Some neogens are also able to navigate via echolocation, and several tweak clades have been modified in this way. To'ul'hs are the best known example of an echolocating xenosophont.
  • Ectotherm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Organisms - e.g. animals, neogens, etc - whose internal temperature changes with the environment. They rely upon behavior (e.g. lying in a sunny area) and sometimes bodily structures (heat-regulatory sails, etc) to control their body temperature.
  • Endoskeleton (augmentics) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In some cyborgs, internal non-biological, mechanical, or dryware structure or component, around which the biological components are built or supported.
  • Endoskeleton (biology) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Framework or skeleton inside the body, used as attachment for muscles and organs, as opposed to exoskeleton.
  • Endotherm - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Organism that generates its own body temperature to maintain a relatively constant internal temperature, which is usually higher than (but may in some xenecologies be lower than) that of the surroundings. In terragen birds and mammals heat from the bloodstream circulates through the body in order to maintain the animal's temperature. Limners use a similar system but circulate paralymph rather than blood. To'u'ls use a cooling rather than a warming circulation, but again the principle is similar.
  • Exoskeleton  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    An external skeleton as found in arthropods, or a suit of protective sealed powered armour worn as clothing, or similarly protective modifications or augments of the body.
  • Fenestra - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] Biont anatomy: a natural hole or opening in a bone or other hard structure, to allow the passage of nerves, blood-vessels, etc.
    [2] Bioborg armor: a small opening for feedlines, and other vessels.
  • Hormone - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In carbon-based lifeforms, any of various internally secreted compounds, in terragen animals formed in the endocrine glands, that affect the functions of specific organs or tissues, control growth, and so on. Very important in various branches of biotech, bioengineering, and neogenics. Hormones for example are used to control many biomachines, such as muschines, secretion polyps, and others.
  • Integument - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] An organism's (e.g. a seed, plant, insect, or bioborg's) hard outer coat or skin.
    [2] An artificial skin; a nanoskin.
  • Invertebrate  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Generic term of convenience for animals that do not have a vertebral column. The vast majority of Terragen animals, including such important phyla as the arthropods, annelids, nematodes, echinoderms and molluscs are invertebrate.
  • Kinesiology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The coordination of nerves, muscles, and joints required for physical activities.
  • Physiology - Text by M. Alan Kazlev from original by Robert J. Hall
    The study of how biological organisms function, and how the cells, tissues, and various bodily organs and systems operate; as well as the interaction of the body with the environment, and the effects of disease and ageing. Involves comprehensive knowledge of bionano, medical nano, and simulations, anatomy, various gengineed phenotypes, and so on.
  • Radial Symmetry  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Symmetry around a central axis; organisms with radial symmetry have a dorsal and ventral surface but are roughly similar on every side, though they may show fourfold, fivefold, sixfold, or eightfold symmetry.
  • Spherical Symmetry  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Symmetry such that an organism is similar if divided in half along any plane.
  • Synapse - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    In the terragen nervous system, the junction between two neurons (or in some vecs and xenology the equivalent), in which neural activity is propagated from one neuron to another. The excitatory or inhibitory weight can be modified with the appropriate pharm, bionano, or hylonano.
 
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 16 September 2001.