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Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Appendix

The appendix is a dead-end tube like structure, ranging from 2 to 20 cm, that spans off the cecum of the colon. It is attached to the lower part of the large intestine.

Formation and Orientation

The appendix can be found in many mammals including marsupials, euarchontoglires (rodents) as wells as humans of course. It is also an organ that forms in the embryotic stage during pregnancy.

McBurney’s Point, the point that is one-third the distance from infront and above the spinal cord at the pelvis to the navel, marks the beginning of the appendix. The location of the end, however, can be found from behind the cecum to inside the pelvis area. In rare cases, the appendix can be found on the left side of the body.

Function

It is not fully positive, the true functionality of the appendix. It has been theorized that the appendix carries ceca, a bacteria provider, which have been believed to have been used to breakdown fibrous foliage when human’s main diets consisted of plants. Loren G. Martin, a professor at Oklahoma State, believes the appendix to be a lymphatic organ and has presented the idea it helps with the “biological control (homeostatic) mechanisms”.

It has been said that in the womb, the appendix works to develop the immune system by introducing “antigens” to the fetus. It has been suggested that the immune system encourages beneficial intestinal bacteria. This idea has led a number of scientists to see the appendix as a storage facility for those good bacterium.

Image Caption: Appendix. Credit: Wikipedia

Appendix