Human Muscles: the “workaholics” of the body

While the human body is considered as a wonder of Devine Creation, human muscles are responsible for our body’s total movements and functions. Derived from the Latin term musculus, muscles are groups to cell tissue known as contractile tissue and are formed by mesodermal layers of embryonic germ cells.

There are basically three main classifications of muscles in all primates, including Man. These are the skeletal, the cardiac, and the smooth muscles. Skeletal muscles are the largest group as they are attached to the body’s skeletal system and are responsible for virtually all voluntary movements. Even eye and tongue muscles are considered to be skeletal muscles as they are attached to the human skull which is part of the overall skeletal system. An adult human male has between 40 – 50% skeletal muscles, while a female has between 30 – 40%. Since skeletal muscles are responsible for motion as posture, the muscle fiber in them is much stronger and ‘stringy’ that those found in either cardiac or smooth muscles. Anybody eating a piece of beef chuck steak, which comes from the skeletal muscles of a cow, can testify to this fact.

Smooth muscles are found inside the body and are responsible for the functions of internal organs such as the lungs, stomach, intestines, uterus, bladder, and blood vessels. Their fibers are shorter and more ‘smooth’ than skeletal muscle fiber, but their functions are no less important as they control the functions of the body’s vital organs

Cardiac muscles are found within the heart and though considered as involuntary muscles, are responsible for operating the “pump” that sends life give blood to all parts of the body.

Many who have studied the science of anatomy have debated on which muscles are the strongest in the human body. Some have said that muscles such as those found in the limbs (hands arms, legs, etc) are the strongest as they are responsible for motions such walking/running, grasping, and lifting. Others have said that lateral muscles located along the human spine are the strongest as they help assist the spine support the entire body.

In actuality, however, the strongest muscles are found in the facial muscles, including the jaw muscles, tongue muscles and eye muscles. The jaw muscles, in fact, have tremendous strength as they are responsible not only for mouth movements, but for chewing and swallowing the very food we eat. Eye muscles, though small in comparison with others, also are very strong as they control our constant eye movements. And the tongue muscles, which control our speech, are also considered as some of our strongest muscles. Anyone who has a “gift for gab” will appreciate this fact.

Since humans belong to animal species known as vertebrates (those animals having internal skeletal systems) studies of the origins all vertebrates indicates that they came from a common origin that appeared on earth more than 700,000 years ago, beginning with fish and other sea creatures, that evolved into amphibians, reptiles, then on into birds and mammals.

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