11.2: Microscopic Anatomy of Skeletal Muscles
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Microscopic Anatomy of Skeletal Muscles
Skeletal muscle is found attached to bones. It consists of long multinucleate fibers. The fibers run the entire length of the muscle they come from and so are usually too long to have their ends visible when viewed under the microscope. The fibers are relatively wide and very long, but unbranched. Fibers are formed from the fusion of thousands of precursor cells. This is why they are so long and why individual fibers are multinucleate (a single fiber has many nuclei). The nuclei are usually up against the edge of the fiber. There are striations in skeletal muscle. These are alternating dark and light bands perpendicular to the edge of the fiber that are present all along the fiber.