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Morphology (biology)

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– **History**:
– Etymology of the word morphology is from Ancient Greek.
– Concept of form in biology dates back to Aristotle.
– Field of morphology was developed by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Karl Friedrich Burdach.
– Important theorists of morphology include Lorenz Oken, Georges Cuvier, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, Richard Owen, Carl Gegenbaur, and Ernst Haeckel.
– In 1830, Cuvier and E.G.Saint-Hilaire engaged in a famous debate on animal structure.

– **Divisions of Morphology**:
– Comparative morphology analyzes patterns of structures within an organism’s body plan.
– Functional morphology studies the relationship between structure and function.
– Experimental morphology studies effects of external factors on organisms’ morphology.
– Anatomy deals with the structure of organisms.
– Molecular morphology refers to superstructures of polymers or composite assemblies.

– **Morphology and Classification**:
– Taxa differ morphologically, with exceptions like cryptic species and convergent evolution.
– Morphological differences within species exist.
– Evaluation of morphology considers homology and homoplasy.
– Homology indicates features derived from a common ancestor.
– Homoplasy describes features resembling each other but evolving independently.

– **3D Cell Morphology: Classification**:
– Microscopy enables observation of 3-D cell morphology.
– Cell morphology plays a crucial role in biological processes.
– Dynamic processes of cell morphology are controlled by complex systems.

– **See Also**:
– Comparative anatomy.
– Computational anatomy.
– Insect morphology.
– Morphometrics.
– Neuromorphology.

Morphology is a branch of biology dealing with the study of the form and structure of organisms and their specific structural features.

Morphology of a male skeleton shrimp, Caprella mutica

This includes aspects of the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern, size), i.e. external morphology (or eidonomy), as well as the form and structure of the internal parts like bones and organs, i.e. internal morphology (or anatomy). This is in contrast to physiology, which deals primarily with function. Morphology is a branch of life science dealing with the study of gross structure of an organism or taxon and its component parts.

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