Quote from nightmare
I thought necropsy was the autopsying of an animal?
From About.com (Veterinary Medicine section):
By Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM
The term necropsy
refers to an examination of a body, postmortem (after death), to determine the cause of death or illness. In vet school, we were taught that this term refers to postmortem examinations on animals
, versus an autopsy, which is an examination of "self". Since you can't do an examination (or anything!) postmortem, a human examining a human cadaver was said to be doing an autopsy. A human doing a examination on an animal cadaver was said to be doing a necropsy.
In checking with several current online dictionary sources1 through dictionary.com
, I see that necropsy and autopsy are used interchangeably.