Dictionary > Caecum

Caecum

Definition
noun, plural: caeca
(anatomy) A blind pouch-like commencement of the colon in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen at the end of the small intestine
Supplement
The caecum refers to the large blind pouch at the beginning of the large intestine. It is found in between the ileum and the colon. The ileocecal valve separates the ileum from the caecum whereas the cecocolic junction separates the ceacum from the colon. The caecum receives chyme from the ileum. The appendix is a diverticulum that extends off the caecum.
In humans, the caecum serves only as a blind pouch of the large intestine. The carnivores have a relatively smaller caecum compared with the herbivores. This is probably due to the nature of their diet. Animals that feed mainly on meat tend to have a smaller caecum whereas herbivores that feed on plants tend to have larger caecum. It could be because in herbivores the caecum is involved in storing food and it is from where bacteria can act on the cellulose of the ingested plant material. As for other animals such as reptiles, the caecum arises from the dorsal of the large intestine. In birds, the caecum occurs as paired pouches. Amphibians do not have caecum. Certain mammalian species also lack caecum, such as raccoons, red panda, and bears.
Word origin: Latin caecum ‎(“blind gut”), Ancient Greek tuphlòn (énteron)
Variant(s):

  • cecum

Also called:

  • blind gut
  • See also:

    • Large intestine

    Related term(s):

  • Punctum caecum


    You will also like...

    Still Water Community Plants
    Still Water Community Plants

    This tutorial looks at the adaptations of freshwater plants for them to thrive in still water habitats. Familiarize your..

    Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination
    Chromosomes X and Y and Sex Determination

    This tutorial looks at sex determination via the sex chromosomes, X and Y. Read it to get more info on X and Y chromosom..

    human brain structure
    The Conscious & Unconscious Nervous System

    This tutorial elaborates on how the nervous system works, particularly at the tissue level of the brain. There are three..

    bryophyte - sporophyte and gametophyte
    Meiosis and Alternation of Generations

    Plants are characterized by having alternation of generations in their life cycles. This tutorial is a review of plant m..

    Disturbance on a still water
    Abiotic Factors – Water Conditions

    A still body of water may be disturbed by a variety of factors. One of them is wind. In fact, it is considered as the pr..

    Sugar Homeostasis
    Sugar Homeostasis

    The blood sugar level is regulated by two hormones. The mechanism behind this type of negative feedback control is descr..