AskDefine | Define abdomens

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  1. Plural of abdomen



  1. Plural of abdomen

Extensive Definition

In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen (belly) constitutes the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity. In arthropods it is the most distal section of the body which lies behind the thorax or cephalothorax.


In vertebrates the abdomen is a large cavity enclosed by the abdominal muscles ventraly and lateraly and by vertebral column dorsally. Lower ribs can also enclose ventral and lateral walls. Abdominal cavity is continuous with pelvic cavity. It is separated from thoracic cavity by diaphragm. Structures such as the aorta, inferior vena cava and esophagus pass through the diaphragm. Both abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity are lined by a serous membrane known as parietal peritoneum. This membrane is continuous with visceral peritoneum lining the organs. Abdomen in vertebrates contains a number of organs belonging for instance to digestive tract and urinary system.

Abdominal organs

Abdominal organs can be highly specialized in some animals. For example the stomach of ruminants (a suborder of mammals) is divided into four chambers - rumen, reticulum, omasum and abomasum.


The invertebrate abdomen is built up of a series of concave upper plates known as tergites and convex lower plates known as sternites, the whole being held together by a tough yet stretchable membrane.
The abdomen contains the insect's digestive tract and reproductive organs, it consists of eleven segments in most orders of insects though the eleventh segment is absent in the adult of most higher orders. The number of these segments does vary from species to species with the number of segments visible reduced to only seven in the common honeybee. In the Collembola (Springtails) the abdomen has only six segments.
The abdomen is sometimes highly modified. In ants, the first segment of the abdomen is fused to the thorax and called the propodeum. The second segment forms the narrow petiole. Some ants have an additional postpetiole segment, and the remaining segments form the bulbous gaster. The petiole and gaster (abdominal segments 2 and onward) are collectively called the metasoma.
Unlike other Arthropods, insects possess no legs on the abdomen in adult form, though the Protura do have rudimentary leg-like appendages on the first three abdominal segments, and Archaeognatha possess small, articulated "styli" which are sometimes considered to be rudimentary appendages. Many larval insects including the Lepidoptera and the Symphyta (Sawflies) have fleshy appendages called prolegs on their abdominal segments (as well as their more familiar thoracic legs), which allow them to grip onto the edges of plant leaves as they walk around.


abdomens in Arabic: بطن
abdomens in Asturian: Abdome
abdomens in Bulgarian: Корем
abdomens in Czech: Břicho
abdomens in Danish: Bughule
abdomens in German: Abdomen
abdomens in Spanish: Abdomen
abdomens in Esperanto: Ventro
abdomens in Basque: Abdomen
abdomens in French: Abdomen
abdomens in Galician: Abdome
abdomens in Ido: Abdomino
abdomens in Indonesian: Abdomen
abdomens in Interlingua (International Auxiliary Language Association): Abdomine
abdomens in Icelandic: Afturbolur
abdomens in Italian: Addome
abdomens in Hebrew: בטן
abdomens in Lithuanian: Pilvelis
abdomens in Lingala: Libumu
abdomens in Macedonian: Стомачна празнина
abdomens in Dutch: Buik
abdomens in Dutch Low Saxon: Boek (lichem)
abdomens in Japanese: 腹
abdomens in Norwegian: Bakkropp
abdomens in Norwegian Nynorsk: Abdomen
abdomens in Polish: Odwłok
abdomens in Portuguese: Abdómen
abdomens in Quechua: Wiksa
abdomens in Russian: Брюшко
abdomens in Simple English: Abdomen
abdomens in Swedish: Buken
abdomens in Tagalog: Puson
abdomens in Turkish: Karın (anatomi)
abdomens in Ukrainian: Черевце
abdomens in Yiddish: בויך
abdomens in Chinese: 腹
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