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Friday, 8 July 2011

Internal organs

Internal organs

1: esophagus 2: trachea 3:tracheal lungs 4: rudimentary left lung 4: right lung 6: heart 7: liver 8 stomach 9: air sac 10: gallbladder 11: pancreas 12: spleen 13: intestine 14: testicles 15: kidneys
Anatomy of a snake. 1 esophagus, 2 trachea, 3 tracheal lungs, 4 rudimentary left lung, 5 right lung, 6 heart, 7 liver, 8 stomach, 9 air sac, 10 gallbladder, 11 pancreas, 12 spleen, 13 intestine, 14 testicles, 15 kidneys.
The snake's heart is encased in a sac, called the pericardium, located at the bifurcation of the bronchi. The heart is able to move around, however, owing to the lack of a diaphragm. This adjustment protects the heart from potential damage when large ingested prey is passed through the esophagus. The spleen is attached to the gall bladder and pancreas and filters the blood. The thymus gland is located in fatty tissue above the heart and is responsible for the generation of immune cells in the blood. The cardiovascular system of snakes is also unique for the presence of a renal portal system in which the blood from the snake's tail passes through the kidneys before returning to the heart.[26]
The vestigial left lung is often small or sometimes even absent, as snakes' tubular bodies require all of their organs to be long and thin.[26] In the majority of species, only one lung is functional. This lung contains a vascularized anterior portion and a posterior portion that does not function in gas exchange.[26] This 'saccular lung' is used for hydrostatic purposes to adjust buoyancy in some aquatic snakes and its function remains unknown in terrestrial species.[26] Many organs that are paired, such as kidneys or reproductive organs, are staggered within the body, with one located ahead of the other.[26]
Snakes have no lymph nodes.[26]

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