Necropsy And Autopsy

In veterinary medicine an “autopsy” is called a “necropsy.”

Autopsy comes from the Greek prefix “auto,” meaning self and the root “opsis,” meaning to see. Thus, the term means to see with one’s own eyes.

Necropsy is more specific, with “necro” coming from the Greek “nekro,” meaning “dead body or corpse” and followed by “opsis.” Thus the word means to see the corpse and, through usage, both terms have come to mean finding the cause of death of the corpse.

The two terms probably became separated into the disciplines of veterinary medicine and human medicine for the purpose of clarity.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.

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