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MCAT Content / Digestive System / Rectum Storage And Elimination Of Waste Feces

Rectum: storage and elimination of waste, feces

Topic: Digestive System

The rectum is the terminal end of the large intestine. Its primary role is to store the feces until defecation. The feces are propelled using peristaltic movements during elimination.

The undigested food from the large intestine enters the rectum. This undigested food is known as feces. The feces are stored in the rectum for some time before defecation. During defecation, the sphincter present at the junction of the rectum and the anus known as anal sphincter opens. This moves the feces to the anus from where defecation takes place.


Key Points

• The rectum is the terminal part of the large intestine in which undigested food known as feces are stored.

• The feces are then passed to the anus via anal sphincter for defecation from the body.


Key Terms

sphincter: a circular muscle that controls opening at the junction of two parts

defecation: removal of feces from the body via the anus

feces: waste food which has not been digested

anus: the opening of the rectum which feces passes through



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