Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Skeletal Muscle

Grossly, a collection of striated muscle fibers, a type of contractile tissue found in muscle organs and attached to the bony framework of the body. Histologically, a diagnostic characteristic of skeletal muscle is the presence of transverse striations and multinucleated fibers (cells) together with connective tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. Skeletal muscle is voluntary and is involved with body movement as well as such actions as facial expressions, mastication, breathing, etc.

See abductor, adductor, extensor, fixator, flexor, intrinsic, sphincter, and synergist.

Cf. cardiac muscle, smooth muscle.

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