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Abdominal Cavity

Abdominal Cavity: Definition, Function, and Diagram

Definition of the Abdominal Cavity The abdominal cavity is a huge cavity in animals’ torsos that lies between the thoracic and pelvic, divided by the thoracic diaphragm. The peritoneum is a protective covering that borders the abdominal cavity and functions in immunity, supporting organs, and fat storage. As illustrated in the figure below, the abdominal …

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Commensalism

Commensalism: Definition, Types, and Examples

Definition of Commensalism Commensalism is an association between two organisms where one organism gets benefits while the other remains unaffected. On the other hand, the other forms of symbiosis, such as mutualism and parasitism, are opposite of commensalism. The key distinction between commensalism and other kinds of symbiosis is that the second organism or host …

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Photosynthesis

Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration: Definition and Diagram

Photosynthesis and cellular respiration work together to provide energy for other reactions in life on Earth. Except for creatures that depend on sulfur near hydrothermal vents, the bulk of life on Earth relies on sugar glucose. The process of photosynthesis produces glucose. The breakdown of glucose and storage of the energy acquired in the molecule …

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Ectoderm

Ectoderm: Definition, Structure, and Function

Definition of Ectoderm The word ecto means “outside,” and derma means “skin”. It is the outermost layer of cells or tissue of an embryo during early development. The other two layers are the mesoderm (middle) and endoderm (innermost). It surrounds the embryo and can develop into a variety of internal as well as external structures. …

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Bilirubin

Bilirubin: Definition, Metabolism, and Function

Definition of Bilirubin Bilirubin is a chemical that is generated when red blood cells and other porphyrin-containing cells are broken down. Red blood cells include special molecules known as hemes (a form of porphyrin) that contain an iron atom. This configuration permits the red blood cell to transport oxygen. When blood cells degrade, heme is …

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Adenosine Triphosphate Structure 1

Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP): Definition, Structure, and Function

Definition of Adenosine Triphosphate Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is a chemical that transports energy throughout cells. It is the cell’s primary energy currency, and it is produced as a by-product of photophosphorylation (adding a phosphate group to a molecule using light energy), cellular respiration, and fermentation. ATP is used by all living things. It is …

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