Topic: Animal anatomy

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Enteric nervous system

Animal anatomy Neuroscience Anatomy Anatomy/Neuroanatomy

The enteric nervous system (ENS) or intrinsic nervous system is one of the main divisions of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and consists of a mesh-like system of neurons that governs the function of the gastrointestinal tract. It is capable of acting independently of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, although it may be influenced by them. The ENS is also called the second brain.It is derived from neural crest cells.

The enteric nervous system is capable of operating independently of the brain and spinal cord, but does rely on innervation from the autonomic nervous system via the vagus nerve and prevertebral ganglia in healthy subjects. However, studies have shown that the system is operable with a severed vagus nerve. The neurons of the enteric nervous system control the motor functions of the system, in addition to the secretion of gastrointestinal enzymes. These neurons communicate through many neurotransmitters similar to the CNS, including acetylcholine, dopamine, and serotonin. The large presence of serotonin and dopamine in the gut are key areas of research for neurogastroenterologists.

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List of Animals by Number of Neurons

Animal anatomy Neuroscience Animals

The following are two lists of animals ordered by the size of their nervous system. The first list shows number of neurons in their entire nervous system, indicating their overall neural complexity. The second list shows the number of neurons in the structure that has been found to be representative of animal intelligence. The human brain contains 86 billion neurons, with 16 billion neurons in the cerebral cortex.

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Wikipedia: Thagomizer

Animal anatomy Comics Comics/Comic strips Dinosaurs

A thagomizer () is the distinctive arrangement of four spikes on the tails of stegosaurine dinosaurs. These spikes are believed to have been a defensive measure against predators.

The arrangement of spikes originally had no distinct name; cartoonist Gary Larson invented the name "thagomizer" in 1982 as a joke in his comic strip The Far Side, and it was gradually adopted as an informal term used within scientific circles, research, and education.

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