Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In human anatomy, the vermiform appendix (or appendix) is a blind ended tube connected to the cecum. It develops embryologically from the cecum. In adults, the appendix averages 10cm in length but can range from 2-20cm. While the base of the appendix is at a fairly constant location, the location of the tip of the appendix can vary from being retrocaecal to being in the pelvis to being extraperitoneal.
Currently, the function of the appendix, if any, remains controversial in the field of human physiology. Hypothesized functions for the appendix include lymphatic, exocrine, endocrine, and neuromuscular . However, most physicians and scientists believe the appendix lacks significant function, and that it exists primarily as a vestigial remnant of the larger cellulose-digesting cecum found in our herbivorous ancestors.
An operation to remove the appendix is an appendectomy.
The most common diseases of the appendix (in humans) are:
The appendix of Spencer Bayles was the longest human appendix ever removed, at a length of 21 cm.
- "The vestigiality of the human vermiform appendix: A Modern Reappraisal" -- evolutionary biology argument that the appendix is vestigial
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