Question Video: Identifying the Pancreas on a Diagram of the Human Body Biology

Which letter on the given diagram of the human body indicates the pancreas?


Video Transcript

Which letter on the given diagram of the human body indicates the pancreas?

The diagram provided by the question illustrates and labels some of the key organs in the human endocrine system. You may recall that the endocrine glands, which make up this system, are groups of specialized cells that function to release chemical messengers called hormones directly into the blood to cause various effects on specific target cells within the body. The type of hormones that are released, the target cells that they act upon, and the specific effect that they produce depends on what triggered the gland to release them and the gland itself.

To answer this question, let’s look at the location of each of the endocrine glands that have been labeled with the letters X, Y, and Z.

The organ marked with the letter X is located between the lungs, which suggests that it sits behind the sternum or breastbone. This is the location of the thymus gland, an organ that is responsible for secreting hormones, such as thymosin, which is helpful in the immune system.

The organ marked with the letter Y is an elongated gland located in the abdomen near the stomach and the upper part of the small intestine, which is known as the duodenum. This is the location of the pancreas, a gland often referred to as a mixed gland as it has both endocrine and exocrine functions. Its endocrine functions involve secreting hormones like insulin and glucagon to control blood glucose levels within a healthy range. Its exocrine functions involve secreting digestive enzymes into the duodenum to help with the digestion of food.

The organ marked with the letter Z sits directly on top of one of the kidneys. There are two of these glands in total, with the other sitting above the second kidney. These are the locations of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are responsible for releasing various hormones, such as adrenaline, which helps us respond to intensely stressful situations.

Now that we have looked at the position of all three glands, let’s look at the question again. We are looking for the letter that indicates the pancreas. Therefore, the correct answer is Y.

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