Although the kidneys are the major osmoregulatory organ, the skin and lungs also play a role in the process. Water and electrolytes are lost through sweat glands in the skin, which helps moisturize and cool the skin surface, while the lungs expel a small amount of water in the form of mucous secretions and via evaporation of water vapor.
The kidneys, illustrated in Figure, are a pair of bean-shaped structures that are located just below and posterior to the liver in the peritoneal cavity. The adrenal glands sit on top of each kidney and are also called the suprarenal glands. Kidneys filter blood and purify it. All the blood in the human body is filtered many times a day by the kidneys; these organs use up almost 25 percent of the oxygen absorbed through the lungs to perform this function. Oxygen allows the kidney cells to efficiently manufacture chemical energy in the form of ATP through aerobic respiration. The filtrate coming out of the kidneys is called urine.
Kidneys filter the blood, producing urine that is stored in the bladder prior to elimination through the urethra. (credit: modification of work by NCI)
Complete the tasks on the list below:
- Read the following page in the OpenStax textbook
- The Kidneys and Osmoregulatory Organs
- Use the Glossary at the bottom of the page to help with the vocabulary for this week
- Use the Review Questions and Free Response questions to check for understanding
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