JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the human kidneys. The arterial blood supply to the kidneys is through the renal arteries (red), which branch from the abdominal aorta. The renal veins drain deoxygenated blood from the kidneys into the inferior vena cava. Both these major blood vessels are seen to divide at bottom, forming the iliac arteries & veins that serve the legs. The surreal landscape in the lower part of the image is covered by parts of nephrons, the kidney's functional units. In each nephron, initial filtration of blood takes place in the renal corpuscles (gourd-like), with filtrate from each knot of blood capillaries collected by the surrounding Bowman's capsule (yellow).
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