ZOOL113 Muscular System

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Blood pressure

This photo shows a nurse taking a woman’s blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff. The nurse is pumping the cuff with her right hand and holding a stethoscope on the patient’s arm with her left hand.
A proficiency in anatomy and physiology is fundamental to any career in the health professions. (credit: Bryan Mason/flickr)

Chapter objectives

After studying this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Distinguish between anatomy and physiology, and identify several branches of each
  • Describe the structure of the body, from simplest to most complex, in terms of the six levels of organization
  • Identify the functional characteristics of human life
  • Identify the four requirements for human survival
  • Define homeostasis and explain its importance to normal human functioning
  • Use appropriate anatomical terminology to identify key body structures, body regions, and directions in the body
  • Compare and contrast at least four medical imagining techniques in terms of their function and use in medicine

Though you may approach a course in anatomy and physiology strictly as a requirement for your field of study, the knowledge you gain in this course will serve you well in many aspects of your life. An understanding of anatomy and physiology is not only fundamental to any career in the health professions, but it can also benefit your own health. Familiarity with the human body can help you make healthful choices and prompt you to take appropriate action when signs of illness arise. Your knowledge in this field will help you understand news about nutrition, medications, medical devices, and procedures and help you understand genetic or infectious diseases. At some point, everyone will have a problem with some aspect of his or her body and your knowledge can help you to be a better parent, spouse, partner, friend, colleague, or caregiver.

This chapter begins with an overview of anatomy and physiology and a preview of the body regions and functions. It then covers the characteristics of life and how the body works to maintain stable conditions. It introduces a set of standard terms for body structures and for planes and positions in the body that will serve as a foundation for more comprehensive information covered later in the text. It ends with examples of medical imaging used to see inside the living body.

Sample Questions from the ZOOL113 Muscular System Quiz

Question: Features of smooth muscle include:


branching cell bodies

cells with one nucleus


a uniform, non-striated appearance

one or two nuclei to each cell

Question: Features of cardiac muscle include:


physical and electrical connections to each cell

multinucleated cells


one or two nuclei in each cell

branching cell bodies

Question: Features of skeletal muscle include:


one or two nuclei to each cell

multinucleated cells

physical and electrical cell connections


one nucleus per cell

Question: Along with excitability, what qualities do all muscles share? Select all that apply.




multinucleated cells



Question: While the nervous system can influence cardiac and smooth muscles to some degree, the skeletal muscle system relies completely on signaling from the __________ ___________ to operate.


nervous system

endocrine system

action potential

peripheral nerves

Question: All muscles exhibit a quality called ____________, which allows them to generate action potentials.






Question: In skeletal muscles of the limbs, the three tissue layers (mysia) have collagen that fuses with the tendon and connects to the ____________ of the bone where it attaches.





proximal joint

Question: All muscles contract when a protein called _________ is pulled by a protein called _________.


troponin; tropomyosin

myosin; tropomyosin

actin; myosin

actin; troponin

Question: In striated muscle, contraction occurs after specific binding sites on the actin are exposed by an interaction between:


calcium ions and proteins (troponin and tropomyosin)

sodium ions and myosin

autorhythmic cells and conduction

calcium ions and ATP

Question: A skeletal muscle is enclosed by ______________, a fascicle is enclosed by ___________, and individual muscle fibers are enclosed by _____________.


epimysium; perostineum; endomysium

endomysium; perimysium; epimysium

epimysium; perimysium; endomysium

endomysium; epimysium; perimysium

perimysium; endomysium; epimysium

Question: Aside from nervous system responses, what other two factors can stimulate smooth and cardiac muscle?


fitness and diet

sympathetic and parasympathetic responses

hormones and local stimuli

calcium and sodium

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