Friday, April 3, 2009
Being with my friend today we stumbled upon this beautiful image of the organ she and her daughter shared.
"The placenta or afterbirth is a highly vascularized ephemeral organ present in eutherian mammals that connects the developing fetal tissues to the uterine wall. The placenta supplies the fetus with maternal nutrients, and allows fetal waste to be disposed of via the maternal kidneys. The word placenta comes from the Latin for cake, from Greek plakóenta/plakoúnta, accusative of plakóeis/plakoús - πλακόεις, πλακούς, "flat, slab-like", referring to its round, flat appearance in humans. Protherial (egg-laying) and metatherial (marsupial) mammals produce a choriovitelline placenta that, while connected to the uterine wall, provides nutrients mainly derived from the egg sac. The placenta develops from the same sperm and egg cells that form the fetus, and functions as a fetomaternal organ with two components, the fetal part (Chorion frondosum), and the maternal part (Decidua basalis)."