Anatomy: Animals Inside

Animal Anatomy Basics

What was one of the first books on human anatomy?

In 1543, Flemish anatomist Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564) wrote the first accurate work on human anatomy, titled De humani corporis fabrica (On the structure of the human body). Many scientists call it one of the books that changed the world—complete with exceptional illustrations (usually attributed to the painter Stephen van Calcar) and showing the true anatomy of the human body, all reproduced with extreme accuracy (previous hand-copied books had many inaccuracies). The book also caused a scandal: after it was published, accusations of body snatching and heresy were directed against Vesalius, mainly by physicians who were not as progressive or had older ideas of the human body, much of it based on Roman physician and anatomist Galen.


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