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The Excretory System

By: Scott Fischer, Ingrid Borgesen,

Tim Madison and Nightwhisper

What is the Excretory System?

The excretory system is a passive biological system that removes
excess, unnecessary materials from an organism, so as to help
maintain homeostasis within the organism and prevent damage to
the body
It is responsible for the elimination of the waste products of
metabolism as well as other liquid and gaseous wastes, as urine
and as a component of sweat and exhalation
As most healthy functioning organs produce metabolic and other
wastes, the entire organism depends on the function of the
system; however, only the organs specifically for the excretion
process are considered a part of the excretory system

What is in the Organ System?

Urinary Bladder
Eccrine/Sweat Glands
Large Intestine

The Excretory System Parts and their Function:

The kidney has nephrons that filter waste from the
Two types of nephrons: cortical and juxtamedullary
Juxtamedullary have a longer loop of Henle which
allows it to create concentrated urine
In nephrons there are tiny blood vessels called a
glomerulus attached to a tubule
The blood enters the glomerulus and it is filtered as
the remaining fluid passes along the tubule.

The liver detoxifies and breaks down chemicals,
poisons and other toxins that enter the body
For example, the liver transforms ammonia (which is
poisonous) into urea (which is then filtered by the
kidney into urine)
The liver also produces bile, and the body uses bile to
break down fats into usable fats and unusable waste

After bile is produced in the liver, it is stored in the
It is then secreted within the small intestine where it
helps to break down ethanol, fats, and acidic wastes including ammonia, into harmless substances.

Large Intestine
The large intestine collects waste from throughout the
It extracts any remaining usable water and then
removes solid waste
At about 10 feet long, it transports the wastes through
the tubes to be excreted

Skin secretes sweat through sweat glands throughout
the body.
Helps to remove additional wastes, such as excess
Furthermore, the sweat, helped by salt, evaporates
and helps to keep the body cool when it is warm.

Like sweat glands, eccrine glands allow excess water
to leave the body
The majority of eccrine glands are located mainly on
the forehead, the bottoms of the feet, and the palms,
although the glands are everywhere throughout the
They help the body to maintain temperature control

Component Organs
Sweat Glands:
Sweat glands in the skin secrete a fluid waste called
sweat or perspiration; however, its primary functions
are temperature control and pheromone release
Therefore, its role as a part of the excretory system is
Sweating also maintains the level of salt in the body

Urinary Bladder
The urinary bladder is the organ that collects waste
excreted by the kidneys prior to disposal by urination
It is a hollow, muscular, and distensible (or elastic)
organ, and sits on the pelvic floor
Urine enters the bladder via the ureters and exits via
the urethra

One of the main functions of the lungs is to diffuse
gaseous wastes, such as carbon dioxide, from the
bloodstream as a normal part of respiration.

Ureter and Urethra

The ureters are muscular ducts that propel urine from
the kidneys to the urinary bladder
The urethra is a tube which connects the urinary
bladder to the outside of the body (the urethra has an
excretory function in both genders)

Diseases that Affect the Organ System

Nephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli. A tuft of
capillaries situated within a Bowman's capsule at the end of a
renal tubule in the vertebrate kidney that filters waste
products from the blood and thus initiates urine formation
Nephrosis also affects the glomeruli, and is characterized by
excretion of abnormally large amounts of protein (often
causing foamy urine) and generalized edema (water
retention/swelling) throughout the whole body, especially
noted as puffy eyelids

Diseases that Affect the Organ System

Kidney Stones are small, hard deposits made of
minerals and acid salts. Can affect any part of your
urinary tract
Urinary Tract Infections caused by Gram negative
bacteria such as E. coli

How does it work with other organ systems?

The excretory system works with the respiratory system,
endocrine, and digestive system.
The respiratory system works with the system by ridding
the lungs of carbon dioxide and water vapors.
It works with the endocrine system because the
endocrine system has glands from the excretory system
to get rid of waste.
It works with the digestive system to help get rid of
waste through the anus.