MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kidney anatomy. Historical artwork of the kidneys (red) revealed by a dissection of a human abdomen, seen from behind. The human body has two kidneys, located each side of the spine (which has been removed here). The function of the kidneys is to clean the blood of waste products like urea. The blood circulates through the kidneys from renal veins and arteries branching directly off the main body artery and vein (running down centre; aorta at left, vena cava at right). Each kidney has a ureter, the tubes running downwards that drain the urine to the bladder (not seen). Urine contains excess water and the urea and other waste products removed from the blood. The intestines are also seen (below kidneys and behind the blood vessels), and the adrenal glands on top of each kidney.
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