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excrement, the contents of the lower section of the large intestine, discharged during defecation. In man and the majority of animals, feces are of solid consistency as a result of water absorption in the large intestines. Feces consist of undigested remains of food, mucoid intestinal juice, epithelial cells (which are constantly desquamating from the interior surface of the intestinal tract), and microorganisms of the intestinal flora (mainly Escherichia coli). Testing of feces has diagnostic value: blood and pus (when ulcers or hemorrhoids are present), worms and their ova, and the causative agents of dysentery, typhoid fever, or cholera may be found.