Biology: Glossary of terms

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Biology: Glossary of terms


Liver: It is the largest and very important internal organ found in the body.

It produces bile, breaks down drugs and alcohol, and converts the final products of digestion into glycerol for storage.

The liver cells help the blood to assimilate food substances and to excrete waste materials and toxins, as well as products such as steroids, oestrogen, and other hormones.

It also stores iron, vitamin A, many of the B-complex vitamins, and vitamin D.

Hepatic Vein: The vein that transports blood from the liver to the heart.

Hepatic Artery: The artery that gives blood from the heart to the liver.

Hepatic Portal Vein: The vein that transports blood rich in soluble products of digestion from the ileum to the liver.

Ileum: It is a long part of the gut where digestion stops and absorption starts.

Absorption is done by the villi surrounding its walls. It ends in the large intestine.

Villi: These are small structures found on the walls of the ileum where absorption stakes place.

There are millions of them to ensure that all nutrients have been absorbed.

Microvilli: Even smaller villi on the large villi in the ileum.

Mucus-Secreting Cell: These are the cells present in the trachea, nose, stomach wall, the intestinal wall and on the epithelium of the villi, also called goblet cells.

Lacteal: The structure found in the villi that absorbs fat droplets.

Epithelium: It is the first thin layer of cells of the villi and other small structures in the body.

Vestigial Organ: It is an organ that has no known functions.

Vestigial organs found in the body are the caesium and the appendix.

Large Intestine: It is a part of the alimentary canal. It is dividing into the colon and rectum.

Colon: It is the first part of the large intestine where water and fluid are absorbed. It ends in the rectum.

Herbivores: These are Vegetable eating animals.

Ruminants: Herbivores with a special type of stomach called a rumen.

Mutualistic Relationship: A type of relationship between organisms where both animals are benefiting from each other.

Cellulose: A cellulose-digesting enzyme produced by certain bacteria found in herbivores.

Mitochondria/Mitochondrion: It is an organelle found in all cells that do respiration.

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