Figure 1: Hierarchical organization of the human body.
The basic structure and functional organization of the human body can be thought of as a pyramid or hierarchical arrangement in which the lowest level of organization (the foundation) consists of cells and chemicals. Organs and organ systems represent the highest levels of organization (Figure 1).
Simplified definitions of the various levels of organization within the body can be found in Table 1.
Figure 2: Hierarchical levels of structural organization of the human body. (Source: V. C. Scanlon and T. Sanders, Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology, 2nd edition. F. A. Davis, 1995.)
Figure 2 illustrates the hierarchical organization of these body components.
The human body consists of eleven organ systems, each which contains several specific organs. An organ is a unique anatomic structure consisting of groups of tissues that work in concert to perform specific functions. Listed below in Table 2 are the eleven organ systems and their specific organs.
Table 1: Levels of organization within the human body.
Table 2: The eleven organ systems of the human body and their specific organs
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