excretion(redirected from excreta)
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the freeing of the organism from the end products of metabolism as well as from the foreign substances and excess water, salts, and organic compounds that have entered with food or were formed in the organism. As a result of metabolism, carbon dioxide, certain amino acids, urea, and other substances leave the cell and enter the inter-cellular fluid and then the blood. When excess salts or food substances are consumed or when metabolism is impaired, there is increased concentration of inorganic or organic substances in the blood (for example, glucose and amino acids). The organs of excretion have an important role in keeping constant the composition of the fluids of the internal environment (homeostasis). The process of excretion in vertebrates involves the kidneys, lungs or gills, glands of the gastrointestinal tract, skin, and sweat and salt glands (nasal, rectal). In invertebrates the process involves protonephridia, meta-nephridia, gills, and other organs; in protozoans the excretory organs are the contractile vacuoles. In some animals the products of metabolism and salts are deposited in accumulatory organs or integumentary tissues, which are discarded during molting. Excretion of carbon dioxide and other volatile substances occurs through the lungs or gills. Water, salts, and products of nitrogen metabolism (ammonia, urea, and uric acid) are mainly excreted by the kidneys. Sodium salts are excreted by seabirds and reptiles through the nasal glands and by fish through gills or the rectal gland. A human being weighing 70 kg and eating a normal diet discharges from 10,000 to 20,000 millimoles of carbon dioxide in a 24-hour period through the lungs, while nonvolatile mineral and organic acids and just 1-2 millimoles of bicarbonates are re-moved in the urine. The excretion of water is 1.2 liters in urine, 0.5 liter in sweat, and 0.1 liter in feces. The total quantity of nitrogen excreted in urine is 11 grams, in feces 1.7 grams, and in sweat 1 gram. In a 24-hour period the kidneys discharge 21 grams of urea, 0.63 grams of uric acid, 0.56 grams of hippuric acid, 1.05 grams of creatinine, and 0.78 grams of ammonia.
REFERENCESProsser, L., and F. Brown. Sravnitel’naia fiziologiia zhivotnykh. Moscow, 1967. (Translation from English.)
IU. V. NATOCHIN