What Is The Difference between Anatomy and Physiology?

So, what is the main difference between anatomy and physiology? The former is the study of animals and plants’ structure while the latter is the study of functions and activities of body parts. 

Both anatomy and physiology are medical fields. Many people usually use these medical fields interchangeably due to misinformation.  But these medical fields are quite important in biology. The dissection of living organisms helps us to understand their anatomy.  The procedure makes it easier to understand the physiology of a particular organism. 

These medical fields are dependent on each other. The knowledge of these subjects is crucial in understanding these medical fields. This is the source of confusion when people are using these terms.  Anatomy and physiology are studied together. These medical fields are incomplete without each other. This article provides further differences between anatomy and physiology with examples.

Subscribe To My Channel Please

Difference between Anatomy and Physiology (With Table)

Basic Terms




It is a field of medical study that teaches about the body structures of living organisms.

It is a field of medical study that teaches about body parts’ functions and their coordination.


Can be done on both dead and living things

Can be done on living things only.


Study the body organs, overall structures, and muscles.

Focus on how different functions are carried out in the body.  


Help in teaching people about various body organs.

Help in teaching people how various functions are carried out in the body.


Study of the heart anatomy deals with arteries and veins

The study of heart physiology deals with understanding how the heart pumps blood to various parts of the body.

What Is Anatomy?

Anatomy is a branch of biology that involves the study of the structure and organization of living organisms. It delves into the examination and analysis of the physical components that make up the body, encompassing organs, tissues, bones, muscles, and other anatomical structures. By investigating the spatial relationships, shapes, and arrangements of these components, anatomists gain insights into the overall form and architecture of organisms.

This scientific discipline is crucial for understanding the diversity of anatomical features across different species and for elucidating the intricacies of the human body. Anatomical studies are conducted through various techniques, including dissection, imaging technologies like X-rays and MRI scans, and microscopic examination. Through these methods, anatomists can explore the details of both external and internal structures, contributing to a comprehensive understanding of the organism’s anatomy.

Anatomy serves as the foundation for numerous other fields, including physiology, pathology, and medical sciences. It plays a vital role in medical education, clinical practice, and research, providing the necessary knowledge for healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat various conditions. Overall, anatomy serves as a fundamental discipline that unravels the mysteries of biological structure, paving the way for a deeper comprehension of living organisms.

What Is Physiology?

Physiology is a branch of biology that focuses on the study of the functions and processes within living organisms. It seeks to understand the mechanisms that govern various physiological functions essential for life. Physiologists explore how different systems and organs work together to maintain the overall health and homeostasis of an organism.

The field of physiology encompasses a wide range of topics, including but not limited to, the function of the nervous system, respiratory system, circulatory system, digestive system, and endocrine system. Physiologists investigate the intricate processes that occur at the cellular and molecular levels, seeking to comprehend the dynamic interactions within biological systems.

The ultimate goal of physiological research is to uncover the underlying principles that govern the operation of living organisms. This knowledge is crucial for understanding health and disease, as well as for developing interventions and treatments to maintain or restore proper physiological function. Physiological studies often involve experimentation, observation, and analysis, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that combines elements of biology, chemistry, physics, and medicine.

In summary, physiology is the scientific exploration of how living organisms function at various levels, from the molecular and cellular to the systemic and organismal. It plays a central role in advancing our understanding of the complex processes that sustain life and influence health and disease.

Main Differences between Anatomy and Physiology  

  1. Anatomy is a kind of static research study that entails observation of both internal and external structures while physiology is a dynamic study that entails the study of functions of different structures like digestion.
  2. Anatomy can analyze parts of both living organisms and dead while physiology analyzes the structures of living beings only.
  3. Anatomy deals with the study of structures and different parts of the body while physiology deals with the working of different parts and their role.
  4. Anatomy focuses only on the size, shape, and location of body structures while physiology focuses on the chemical, electrical, and physical processes of the body structures.

Similarities between Anatomy and Physiology

  1. Both are two branches of biology
  2. Both deal with the study of body structures, form, and function
  3. Both deal with human organisms.

You May Also Like:


Anatomy and physiology are two closely related but distinct branches of the biological sciences that collectively contribute to the understanding of the structure and function of living organisms.

Anatomy is the study of the physical structure and organization of living organisms. It involves the examination and analysis of the body’s internal and external components, including organs, tissues, bones, and muscles. Anatomical studies provide insights into the relationships and spatial arrangements of these structures, helping to build a comprehensive knowledge of the body’s form.

Physiology, on the other hand, delves into the functional aspects of living organisms. It focuses on how biological systems operate and interact to maintain life. Physiology explores the mechanisms and processes that govern bodily functions, such as digestion, circulation, respiration, and the nervous system. This branch of science aims to understand the dynamic processes that occur within living organisms and how they contribute to overall health and homeostasis.

In essence, anatomy provides the foundational knowledge of the body’s structure, detailing the “what” and “where” of biological components, while physiology explores the “how” and “why,” elucidating the mechanisms and processes that drive bodily functions. Together, these disciplines form a comprehensive approach to studying the intricacies of life, offering insights into both the form and function of living organisms.

More Sources and References

Leave a Comment