The Muscular System Little Mice Hanging On Our Bones

If you would be brave (or foolish) enough to cut through the skin very deeply, you would see over 600 ''little mice'' hanging onto the bones of your skeleton! These are the individual skeletal muscle organs. They make up the bulk of the muscular (MUS-kyoo-lar) system. Reflecting our amusing imagination, the word, muscular, ''pertains to a little mouse'' (muscul).

A glance down at Figure 3.1 reveals the source behind this highly visual meaning of the Early Greek scholars. Consider a very familiar skeletal muscle

Muscul = "little mouse"

Fig. 3.1 The biceps brachii muscle and one of its tendons as a ''little mouse'' below the skin.

organ, the biceps (BUY-seps) brachii (BRAY-kee-eye) muscle in the upper "arm" (brachii). The body or main mass of the biceps brachii does, indeed, closely resemble a ''little mouse,'' doesn't it?

And how about those tendons (TEN-duns) or tough straps of connective tissue? All of the skeletal muscles are anchored to the bones at either end by one or more of these tough, slender tendons. Doesn't one of the tendons of the biceps brachii shown in Figure 3.1 look a lot like a tail of a little mouse (muscul) creeping below the skin?

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