Guanches were the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands. In 2017, the first genome-wide data from the Guanches confirmed a North African origin and that they were genetically most similar to modern North African Berber peoples of the nearby North African mainland, it is believed that they migrated to the archipelago around 1000 BCE or earlier. The Guanches were the only native people known to have lived in the Macaronesian region before the arrival of Europeans, as there is no evidence that the other Macaronesian archipelagos were inhabited before Europeans arrived. After the Spanish conquest of the Canaries they were ethnically and culturally absorbed by Spanish settlers, although elements of their culture survive to this day, intermixed within Canarian customs and traditions such as Silbo; the native term guanchinet translated means "person of Tenerife". It was modified, according to Juan Núñez de la Peña, by the Castilians into "Guanchos". Though etymologically being an ancient, Tenerife-specific, the word Guanche is now used to refer to the pre-Hispanic aboriginal inhabitants of the entire archipelago.
Roman author and military officer Pliny the Elder, drawing upon the accounts of Juba II, king of Mauretania, stated that a Mauretanian expedition to the islands around 50 BCE found the ruins of great buildings, but otherwise no population to speak of. If this account is accurate, it may suggest that the Guanches were not the only inhabitants, or the first ones. Tenerife the archaeological site of the Cave of the Guanches in Icod de los Vinos, has provided habitation dates dating back to the 6th century BCE, according to analysis carried out on ceramics that were found inside the cave. Speaking, the Guanches were the indigenous peoples of Tenerife; the population seems to have lived in relative isolation up to the time of the Castilian conquest, around the 14th century. The name came to be applied to the indigenous populations of all the seven Canary Islands, those of Tenerife being the most important or powerful. What remains of their language, Guanche – a few expressions, vocabulary words and the proper names of ancient chieftains still borne by certain families – exhibits positive similarities with the Berber languages.
The first reliable account of the Guanche language was provided by the Genoese explorer Nicoloso da Recco in 1341, with a translation of numbers used by the islanders. According to European chroniclers, the Guanches did not possess a system of writing at the time of conquest. Inscriptions and rock paintings and carvings are quite abundant throughout the islands. Petroglyphs attributed to various Mediterranean civilizations have been found on some of the islands. In 1752, Domingo Vandewalle, a military governor of Las Palmas, attempted to investigate them, Aquilino Padron, a priest at Las Palmas, catalogued inscriptions at El Julan, La Candía and La Caleta on El Hierro. In 1878 Dr. René Verneau discovered rock carvings in the ravines of Las Balos that resemble Libyan or Numidian writing dating from the time of Roman occupation or earlier. In other locations, Libyco-Berber script has been identified; the geographic accounts of Pliny the Elder and of Strabo mention the Fortunate Isles but do not report anything about their populations.
An account of the Guanche population may have been made around AD 1150 by the Arab geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi in the Nuzhatul Mushtaq, a book he wrote for King Roger II of Sicily, in which al-Idrisi reports a journey in the Atlantic Ocean made by the Mugharrarin, a family of Andalusian seafarers from Lisbon. The only surviving version of this book, kept at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, first translated by Pierre Amédée Jaubert, reports that, after having reached an area of "sticky and stinking waters", the Mugharrarin moved back and first reached an uninhabited Island, where they found "a huge quantity of sheep, which its meat was bitter and inedible" and "continued southward" and reached another island where they were soon surrounded by barks and brought to "a village whose inhabitants were fair haired with long and flaxen hair and the women of a rare beauty". Among the villagers, one asked them where they came from; the king of the village ordered them to bring them back to the continent where they were surprised to be welcomed by Berbers.
Apart from the marvelous and fanciful content of this history, this account would suggest that Guanches had sporadic contacts with populations from the mainland. Al-Idrisi described the Guanche men as tall and of a reddish-brown complexion. During the 14th century, the Guanches are presumed to have had other contacts with Balearic seafarers from Spain, suggested by the presence of Balearic artifacts found on several of the Canary Islands; the Castilian conquest of the Canary Islands began in 1402, with the expedition of Jean de Béthencourt and Gadifer de la Salle to the island of Lanzarote. Gadifer would invade Lanzarote and Fuerteventura with ease since many of the aboriginals, faced with issues of starvation and poor agriculture, would surrender to Spanish rule; the other five islands fought back. El Hierro and the Bimbache population were the next to fall La Gomera, Gran Canaria, La Palma and in 1496, Tenerife. In the First Battle of Acentejo, called La Matanza, Guanches ambushed the Castilians
This article describes the practice of mummification by the Muisca. The Muisca inhabited the Altiplano Cundiboyacense in the Colombian Andes before the arrival of the Spanish and were an advanced civilisation, they mummified the higher social class members of their society the zipas, caciques and their families. The mummies were not buried. Many mummies from the Chibcha-speaking indigenous groups have been found to date from the Muisca and Guane. In 1602 the early Spanish colonisers found 150 mummies in a cave near Suesca, that were organised in a scenic circular shape with the mummy of the cacique in the centre of the scene; the mummies were surrounded by pots. In 2007 the mummy of a baby was discovered in a cave near Gámeza, Boyacá, together with a small bowl, a pacifier and cotton cloths; the process of mummification continued into the colonial period. The youngest mummies have been dated to second half of the 18th century; the early Spanish chroniclers Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, Pedro Simón, Pedro de Aguado, Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés and others have provided the first historical data on the Muisca mummies.
Modern researchers who contributed to the knowledge of the Muisca mummies have been 19th century scholars Ezequiel Uricoechea and Liborio Zerda. In the 20th and 21st century Eliécer Silva Celis and Abel Fernando Martínez Martín have been analysing various Muisca mummies. In the centuries before the Spanish conquest of the Muisca in 1537, the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, high plateau of the Eastern Ranges of the Colombian Andes, was inhabited by the Muisca people, they were an advanced civilisation of farmers and traders. The Muisca did not construct stone architecture, as the Maya and Inca did, they were called "Salt People" because of their extraction of halite from various salt mines on the Altiplano, predominantly in Zipaquirá, Nemocón and Tausa. Mummification was a common practice in South American cultures; the Nazca and Chachapoya of Peru conducted mummifications. The oldest evidence of mummification in the Americas is known from the Chinchorro culture in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and has been dated at 7000 years BP.
The practice was performed by various pre-Columbian cultures in Colombia. Of the cultures to the southwest of the Altiplano, the Calima and Quimbaya practiced mummification. On and close to the Altiplano the Muisca and Lache mummified their dead and north of the Altiplano the Chitarero and Zenú executed the mummification process; the indigenous groups inhabiting the jungles of the Darién mummified their caciques. The Muisca started their mummification practices in the Late Herrera Period from the 5th century AD onwards; the use of substances to balm the body and the extraction of the organs has been described by franciscan Estebán de Asencio in 1550. The process took eight hours to dry the body with a dusty balm. While the exact composition of the balm has not been determined, the moque was a type of resin, used in other rituals and practices around the mummification. Another method of preparation of the mummies was more frequent; the body would be dried using fire and smoke and no extraction of organs would be performed.
The heat of the fire not only dried the body the phenol liberated by the smoke would conserve the body and prevent it from decomposing. This process, that the Guane performed to prepare their mummies, has been described by Pedro Simón; the dried bodies were wrapped in various layers of cotton cloths painted. Emeralds were put in the mouths and to cover the eyes and bellybutton of the deceased and sometimes cloths were inserted in their rectum; the ears and nose were covered with cotton cloths as well. During the mummification rituals, the Muisca drank chicha for various days in a row; as the Muisca believed in an afterlife, the mummies were buried surrounded by pots with food as beans and chicha, mantles and golden figures for their stay in another world, similar to ours. The mummies of the higher classes were decorated with golden earrings or noserings and with golden feathered crowns and emeralds; the discovery of a cave in Gámeza, Boyacá in 2007, proved children were mummified. In the temples and places reserved for the mummies, the bodies were put on a platform of reed, as an elevated bed, called barbacoas.
Other mummies were placed on small wooden stools. The mummies were left there without being buried. All the mummies found were in a similar sitting position with the arms and legs folded towards the torso. Ezequiel Uricoechea described in 1854 that the fingers of the mummified persons were strapped together with cotton cords; some of the mummies those of the warriors, were found with golden arms in their hands. The fighters were richly decorated with emeralds and fine cloths and bags of cotton. According to Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada who made the first contact with the Muisca, during the conquest, the guecha warriors carried mummies on their backs to serve as an example and to impress their enemies in their warfare; when his soldiers Miguel Sánchez and Juan Rodríguez Parra raided the Sun Temple in Sogamoso in September 1537, they found mummies decorated with golden crowns and other objects sitting on raised platforms. Although the Muisca society was egalitarian, differences in the burial processes indicate the distinction of the social classes.
The higher class people and their families were mummif
Embalming is the art and science of preserving human or animal remains by treating them to forestall decomposition. The intention is to make the deceased suitable for public or private viewing as part of the funeral ceremony, or keep them preserved for medical purposes in an anatomical laboratory; the three goals of embalming are sanitization and preservation, with restoration being an important additional factor in some instances. Performed embalming can help preserve the body for a duration of many years. Embalming has a long and cross-cultural history, with many cultures giving the embalming processes a greater religious meaning. Embalming is distinct from taxidermy. Embalming preserves the human body intact, whereas taxidermy is the recreation of an animal's form using only the creature's skin mounted on an anatomical form; the Chinchorro culture in the Atacama desert of present-day Chile and Peru are among the earliest cultures known to have performed artificial mummification as early as 5000-6000 BC.
The ancient culture that had developed embalming to the greatest extent was Egypt. As early as the First Dynasty, specialized priests were in charge of mummification, they did so by removing organs, ridding the body of moisture, covering the body with natron. The Ancient Egyptians believed that preservation of the mummy empowered the soul after death, the latter of which would return to the preserved corpse. Other cultures known to have used embalming techniques in antiquity include the Meroites, Peruvians, Jivaro Indians, Toltecs and Tibetan and southern Nigerian tribes; the earliest known evidence of artificial preservation in Europe was found in Osorno and are about 5000 years old human bones covered in cinnabar for preservation, but embalming remained unusual in Europe up to the time of the Roman Empire. In China, artificially preserved remains have been recovered from the period of the Han dynasty, the main examples being that of Xin Zhui and the Mawangdui Han tombs site. While these remains have been extraordinarily well preserved, the embalming fluids and methods used are unknown.
In Europe the knowledge and practice of artificial preservation had spread from these ancient cultures becoming spread by about 500 AD. The period of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is known as the anatomists' period of embalming and is characterized by an increased inﬂuence of scientific developments in medicine and the need for bodies for dissection purposes. Early methods used are documented by contemporary physicians such as Peter Forestus and Ambroise Pare; the first attempts to inject the vascular system were made by Alessandro Giliani of Persiceto, who died in 1326. Various attempts and procedures have been reported by Leonardo da Vinci, Jacobus Berengar, Bartholomeo Eustachius, Reinier de Graaf, Jan Swammerdam, Frederik Ruysch. In the United States, the Civil War era sparked an interest in embalming and it became common across the nation; the modern method of embalming involves the injection of various chemical solutions into the arterial network of the body to disinfect and slow the decomposition process.
William Harvey, the 17th century English physician, the first to detail the system of blood circulation, made his discoveries by injecting coloured solutions into corpses. The Scottish surgeon William Hunter was the first to apply these methods to the art of embalming as part of mortuary practice, he wrote a read report on the appropriate methods for arterial and cavity embalming in order to preserve bodies for burial. His brother, John Hunter, applied these methods and advertised his embalming services to the general public from the mid-18th century. One of his more notorious customers was the dentist Martin Van Butchell; when his wife Mary died on January 14, 1775, he decided to have her embalmed and turn her into an attraction in order to draw more customers. Hunter injected the body with preservatives and color additives that gave a glow to the corpse's cheeks, replaced her eyes with glass eyes, dressed her in a fine lace gown; the body was embedded in a layer of plaster of Paris in a glass-topped coffin.
Butchell put the body on display in the window of his home. Many Londoners came to see the body, but Butchell drew criticism for his gruesome display. A rumor started by Butchell himself, claimed that his wife's marriage certificate had specified that her husband would only have control over her estate after her death for as long as her body was kept unburied. Interest in, demand for, embalming grew in the 19th century for sentimental reasons. People wished to be buried at far-off locations, mourners wanted the chance to display the body for visitors to pay their last respects. Another motive behind embalming at this time was to prevent the spread of disease while being able to prepare for burial without unseemly haste. After Lord Nelson was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar, his body was preserved in brandy and spirits of wine mixed with camphor and myrrh for over two months. At the time of his state funeral in 1805, his body was found to still be in excellent condition and plastic. Alternative methods of preservation, such as ice packing or laying the body on so called'cooling boards' lost ground to the popular and effective methods of embalming.
By the mid 19th century, the newly emerging profession of businessmen-undertakers - who provided funeral and burial services - began adopting embalming methods as standard. Embalming caught on in the United States during the American Civil War, as a resul
The Chinchorro mummies are mummified remains of individuals from the South American Chinchorro culture, found in what is now northern Chile. They are the oldest examples of artificially mummified human remains, having been buried up to two thousand years before the Egyptian mummies. While the earliest mummy, found in Egypt dated around 3000 BC, the oldest anthropogenically modified Chinchorro mummy dates from around 5050 BC; the oldest mummified mummy recovered from the Atacama Desert is dated around 7020 BC. Shell midden and bone chemistry suggest. Many ancient cultures of fisherfolk existed, tucked away in the arid river valleys of the Andes, but the Chinchorro made themselves unique by their dedicated preservation of the dead. While many cultures throughout the world have sought to focus on preserving the dead elite, the Chinchorro tradition performed mummification on all members of their society, making them archaeologically significant; the decision of egalitarian preservation is proven in the mummification of the less productive members of society.
It is the case that children and babies received the most elaborate mummification treatments. 29% of known Chinchorro mummies were mummified naturally. The earliest one, the Acha man, dates to 7020 BC; the artificial mummies of Chinchorro are believed to have first appeared around 5000 BC and reached a peak around 3000 BC. Chinchorro mummies were elaborately prepared by removing the internal organs and replacing them with vegetable fibers or animal hair. In some cases an embalmer would remove the skin and flesh from the dead body and replace them with clay. Radiocarbon dating reveals that the oldest discovered anthropogenically modified Chinchorro mummy was that of a child from a site in the Camarones Valley, about 60 miles south of Arica in Chile and dates from around 5050 BC; the mummies continued to be made until about 1800 BC, making them contemporary with Las Vegas culture and Valdivia culture in Ecuador and the Norte Chico civilization in Peru. Since 1914, when Max Uhle began his work in Arica, an estimated 282 mummies have been found by archaeologists.
Morro-I, at the base of the Morro de Arica, revealed 96 bodies at the unstratified loose sand at the slope of the hill. Fifty-four adults were found: 20 male and 7 of indeterminate sex; this sample size suggests. The mummies may have served as a means of assisting the soul in surviving, to prevent the bodies from frightening the living. A more accepted theory is that there was an ancestor cult of sorts, since there is evidence of both the bodies traveling with the groups and placed in positions of honor during major rituals and a delay in the final burial itself; the bodies were elaborately decorated and colored, are thought to be reinforced and stiffened in order to be carried on reed litters and displayed. However, since the society is a preceramic one, as well as nomadic, it is somewhat difficult to determine through archaeological records the reasons why the Chinchorro felt the need to mummify the dead; the representatives of the Chinchorro culture was determined by mitochondrial haplogroup A2.
Dr. Bernardo Arriaza is a Chilean physical anthropologist who contributed a lot of the knowledge about Chinchorro mummification. Starting in 1984, he published numerous studies on the subject. In 1994, Arriaza created a classification of the Chinchorro mummies, used, his book "Beyond Death: The Chinchorro Mummies of Ancient Chile" was published by the Smithsonian and translated into Spanish. While the overall manner in which the Chinchorro mummified their dead changed over the years, several traits remained constant throughout their history. In excavated mummies, archaeologists found skin and all soft tissues and organs, including the brain, removed from the corpse. After the soft tissues had been removed, sticks reinforced bones while the skin was stuffed with vegetable matter before reassembling the corpse; the mummy received a clay mask if the mummy was completely covered in dried clay. Uhle categorized the types of mummification he saw into three categories: simple treatment, complex treatment, mud-coated mummies.
He believed that these occurred chronologically, the mummification process becoming more complex as time went on. Since archaeologists have expanded upon this explanation and have agreed upon the following types of mummification: natural, red, mud-coated and bandage mummies. Mummification can be described as externally prepared mummies, internally prepared mummies, reconstructed mummies, according to Andean Archaeologists. Further, it turns out that the types of mummification used overlap with each other, mummies of different types have been found all in the same tomb; the two most common techniques used in Chinchorro mummification were the Black mummies and the Red mummies. Of the 282 Chinchorro mummies found thus far, 29% of them were results of the natural mummification process. In northern Chile, environmental conditions favor natural mummification; the soil is rich in nitrates which, when combined with other factors such as the aridity of the Atacama Desert, ensure organic pre
Pinus canariensis, the Canary Island pine, is a species of gymnosperm in the coniferous family Pinaceae. It is a evergreen tree native and endemic to the outer Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean, it is a subtropical pine and does not tolerate low temperatures or hard frost, surviving temperatures down to about −6 to −10 °C. Within its natural area, it grows under variable rainfall regimes, from less than 300 mm to several thousands due to differences in mist-capturing by the foliage. Under warm conditions, this is one of the most drought-tolerant pines, living with less than 200 mm per year, it is the vegetable symbol of the island of La Palma. The native range has been somewhat reduced due to over-cutting so that only the islands of Tenerife, La Palma and Gran Canaria still have large forests. Big trees are still rare due to past over-cutting, it is the tallest tree in the Canary Islands. Pinus canariensis is a large evergreen tree, growing to 30–40 m tall and 100–120 cm trunk diameter, exceptionally up to 60 m tall and 265 cm diameter.
The green to yellow-green leaves are needle-like, in bundles of three, 20–30 cm long, with finely toothed margins and drooping. A characteristic of the species is the occurrence of glaucous epicormic shoots growing from the lower trunk, but in its natural area this only occurs as a consequence of fire or other damage; this pine is one of the most fire-resistant conifers in the world. The cones are 10–18 cm long, 5 cm wide, glossy chestnut-brown in colour and remaining closed for several years, its closest relatives are the Chir Pine from the Himalaya, the Mediterranean pines Pinus pinea, Pinus halepensis, Pinus pinaster and Pinus brutia from the eastern Mediterranean. Fossils of Pinus canariensis have been described from the fossil flora of Kızılcahamam district in Turkey, of early Pliocene age; the tree's long needles make a significant contribution to the islands water supply, trapping large amounts of condensation from the moist air coming off the Atlantic with the prevailing north eastern wind.
The condensation drops to the ground and is absorbed by the soil percolating down to the underground aquifers. The aromatic wood the heartwood, is among the finest of pine woods - hard and durable. In mainland Spain, South Africa and Australia, it has become a naturalized species from original landscape uses. Pinus canariensis is a popular ornamental tree in warmer climates, such as in private gardens, public landscapes, as street trees in California. List of animal and plant symbols of the Canary Islands University of Murcia: Tenerife Island, Spain: Pinus canariensis University of Murcia - World Plants: Pinus canariensis Images gallery University of California: Davis Pinus canariensis
McGill University is a public research university in Montreal, Canada. It was established in 1821 by royal charter, granted by King George IV; the university bears the name of James McGill, a Montreal merchant from Scotland whose bequest in 1813 formed the university's precursor, McGill College. McGill's main campus is at Mount Royal in downtown Montreal, with the second campus situated in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue on the Montreal Island, 30 kilometres west of the main campus; the university is one of two universities outside the United States who are members of the Association of American Universities and it is the only Canadian member of the Global University Leaders Forum within the World Economic Forum. McGill offers degrees and diplomas in over 300 fields of study, with the highest average admission requirements of any Canadian university. Most students are enrolled in the five largest faculties, namely Arts, Medicine and Management. McGill counts among its alumni 12 Nobel laureates and 145 Rhodes Scholars, both the most of any university in Canada, as well as five astronauts, the incumbent prime minister and two former prime ministers of Canada, the incumbent Governor General of Canada, 14 justices of the Canadian Supreme Court, at least eight foreign leaders, 28 foreign ambassadors, over eight dozen members of the Canadian Parliament, United States Congress, British Parliament, other national legislatures, several billionaires, nine Academy Award winners, 11 Grammy Award winners, four Pulitzer Prize winners, two Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, at least 16 Emmy Award winners, 28 Olympic medalists, all of varying nationalities.
McGill alumni were instrumental in inventing or organizing football and ice hockey. McGill University or its alumni founded several major universities and colleges, including the Universities of British Columbia and Alberta, the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dawson College; the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning was created in 1801 under an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, An Act for the establishment of Free Schools and the Advancement of Learning in this Province. In 1816 the RIAL was authorized to operate two new Royal Grammar Schools, in Quebec City and in Montreal; this was a turning point for public education in Lower Canada as the schools were created by legislation, the District Public Schools Act of 1807, which showed the government's willingness to support the costs of education and the salary of a schoolmaster. This was an important first step in the creation of nondenominational schools; when James McGill died in 1813 his bequest was administered by the RIAL.
Of the original two Royal Grammar Schools, in 1846 one closed and the other merged with the High School of Montreal. By the mid-19th century the RIAL had lost control of the other eighty-two grammar schools it had administered. However, in 1853 it took over the High School of Montreal from the school's board of directors and continued to operate it until 1870. Thereafter, its sole remaining purpose was to administer the McGill bequest on behalf of the private college; the RIAL continues to exist today. Since the revised Royal Charter of 1852, The Trustees of the RIAL comprise the Board of Governors of McGill University. James McGill, born in Glasgow, Scotland on 6 October 1744, was a successful merchant in Quebec, having matriculated into the University of Glasgow in 1756. Soon afterwards, McGill left for North America to explore the business opportunities there. Between 1811 and 1813, he drew up a will leaving his "Burnside estate", a 19-hectare tract of rural land and 10,000 pounds to the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning.
On McGill's death in December 1813, the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning, established in 1801 by an Act of the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada, added the establishing of a University pursuant to the conditions of McGill's will to its original function of administering elementary education in Lower Canada. As a condition of the bequest, the land and funds had to be used for the establishment of a "University or College, for the purposes of Education and the Advancement of Learning in the said Province." The will specified a private, constituent college bearing his name would have to be established within 10 years of his death. On March 31, 1821, after protracted legal battles with the Desrivières family, McGill College received a royal charter from King George IV; the Charter provided the College should be deemed and taken as a University, with the power of conferring degrees. Although McGill College received its Royal Charter in 1821, it was inactive until 1829 when the Montreal Medical Institution, founded in 1823, became the college's first academic unit and Canada's first medical school.
The Faculty of Medicine granted its first degree, a Doctorate of Medicine and Surgery, in 1833. The Faculty of Medicine remained the school's only functioning faculty until 1843, when the Faculty of Arts commenced teaching in the newly constructed Arts Building and East Wing; the university historically has strong links with the Canadian Grenadier Guards, a military regiment in which James McGill served as Lieutenant-Colonel. This title is m
The abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis, in humans and in other vertebrates. The abdomen is the frontal part of the abdominal segment of the trunk, the dorsal part of this segment being the back of the abdomen; the region occupied by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity. In arthropods it is the posterior tagma of the body; the abdomen stretches from the thorax at the thoracic diaphragm to the pelvis at the pelvic brim. The pelvic brim stretches from the lumbosacral joint to the pubic symphysis and is the edge of the pelvic inlet; the space above this inlet and under the thoracic diaphragm is termed the abdominal cavity. The boundary of the abdominal cavity is the abdominal wall in the front and the peritoneal surface at the rear; the abdomen contains most of the tubelike organs of the digestive tract, as well as several solid organs. Hollow abdominal organs include the stomach, the small intestine, the colon with its attached appendix. Organs such as the liver, its attached gallbladder, the pancreas function in close association with the digestive tract and communicate with it via ducts.
The spleen and adrenal glands lie within the abdomen, along with many blood vessels including the aorta and inferior vena cava. Anatomists may consider the urinary bladder, fallopian tubes, ovaries as either abdominal organs or as pelvic organs; the abdomen contains an extensive membrane called the peritoneum. A fold of peritoneum may cover certain organs, whereas it may cover only one side of organs that lie closer to the abdominal wall. Anatomists call the latter type of organs retroperitoneal. Digestive tract: Stomach, small intestine, large intestine with cecum and appendix Accessory organs of the digestive tract: Liver and pancreas Urinary system: Kidneys and ureters – but technically located in retroperitoneum – outside peritoneal membrane Other organs: SpleenAbdominal organs can be specialized in some animals. For example, the stomach of ruminants is divided into four chambers – rumen, reticulum and abomasum. In vertebrates, the abdomen is a large cavity enclosed by the abdominal muscles and laterally, by the vertebral column dorsally.
Lower ribs can enclose ventral and lateral walls. The abdominal cavity is upper part of the pelvic cavity, it is attached to the thoracic cavity by the diaphragm. Structures such as the aorta, inferior vena cava and esophagus pass through the diaphragm. Both the abdominal and pelvic cavities are lined by a serous membrane known as the parietal peritoneum; this membrane is continuous with the visceral peritoneum lining the organs. The abdomen in vertebrates contains a number of organs belonging, for instance, to the digestive tract and urinary system. There are three layers of the abdominal wall, they are, from the outside to the inside: external oblique, internal oblique, transverse abdominal. The first three layers extend between the vertebral column, the lower ribs, the iliac crest and pubis of the hip. All of their fibers merge towards the midline and surround the rectus abdominis in a sheath before joining up on the opposite side at the linea alba. Strength is gained by the criss-crossing of fibers, such that the external oblique are downward and forward, the internal oblique upward and forward, the transverse abdominal horizontally forward.
The transverse abdominal muscle is triangular, with its fibers running horizontally. It lies between the underlying transverse fascia, it originates from Poupart's ligament, the inner lip of the ilium, the lumbar fascia and the inner surface of the cartilages of the six lower ribs. It inserts into the linea alba behind the rectus abdominis; the rectus abdominis muscles are flat. The muscle is crossed by three fibrous bands called the tendinous intersections; the rectus abdominis is enclosed in a thick sheath formed, as described above, by fibers from each of the three muscles of the lateral abdominal wall. They originate at the pubis bone, run up the abdomen on either side of the linea alba, insert into the cartilages of the fifth and seventh ribs. In the region of the groin, the inguinal canal, a passage through the layers; this gap is where the testes can drop through the wall and where the fibrous cord from the uterus in the female runs. This is where weakness can form, cause inguinal hernias.
The pyramidalis muscle is triangular. It is located in the lower abdomen in front of the rectus abdominis, it is inserted into the linea alba halfway up to the navel. Functionally, the human abdomen is where most of the alimentary tract is placed and so most of the absorption and digestion of food occurs here; the alimentary tract in the abdomen consists of the lower esophagus, the stomach, the duodenum, the jejunum, the cecum and the appendix, the ascending and descending colons, the sigmoid colon and the rectum. Other vital organs inside the abdomen include the kidneys, the pancreas and the spleen; the abdominal wall is split into the posterior and anterior walls. The abdominal muscles have different important functions, they assist in the breathing process as accessory muscles of respiration. Moreover, these muscles serve as protection for the inner organs. Furthermore, together with the back muscles they provide postural support and are important in defining the form; when the glottis is closed and the thorax and pelvis are fixed, they are integral in the cough, defecation, childbirth and singing functions.