The Vertebrate as a Dual Animal — Somatic and Visceral

  • Alfred Sherwood Romer


In the study of vertebrate anatomy and embryology, one frequently encounters the terms “somatic” and “visceral.” Musculature is somatic or visceral; there is a somatic skeleton and a visceral skeleton; a somatic nervous system and a visceral nervous system. Are these terms merely descriptive, as regards external or internal position? I believe not. The anatomical and structural differences between the two elements in each organ system and, in great measure, the differences in embryological origin are so marked that the contrasts appear to be basic in the make-up of a vertebrate.


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© Meredith Corporation 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alfred Sherwood Romer
    • 1
  1. 1.Museum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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