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Biology > Structural Organisation in Animals > Organ and Organ System
Structural Organisation in Animals

Organ and Organ System

Humans have five vital organs, and survival without any of these would not be possible. These organs are the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. These organs are then categorized into various organ systems. Let us educate ourselves about organs and organ system.

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What is Organ and Organ System?

You very well know that a cell is the basic unit of life. But can a single cell accomplish all functions? Well! Yes, it can perform most of the functions. But this is only in lower organisms like amoeba etc. How about higher organisms, which show tissue differentiation?

In the animal kingdom, as you move from the lower phyla to the higher order phyla, you have clearly seen the variation in the body structure, symmetry, organ, and organ systems etc. that are present in the animals. It is this ability of the animal cells to group together to perform specialized tasks, which gives an edge to the higher order animals.

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Animal cells group together to form tissue. Each tissue is a group of cells that perform specific functions. This form of organization is clearly seen in multicellular organisms. All these different groups of tissues bundle together, organize and form organs. There are different organs which in turn associate together to form specific organ systems. Thus organs and organ systems are characteristic features of higher order multicellular animals.

organ system(Source: Wikipedia)

Use of Organ and Organ system

The organization of organs and organ systems in multicellular organisms is very crucial for the effective functioning of the whole body. There are millions and millions of cells that make an organism. In humans and other higher-order multicellular organisms, there are so many cells that are present, that it is practically difficult for every cell to be in direct contact with the external environment for the nutrient and other needs.

To coordinate the activities of these cells, it is essential to have specialized organs and organ systems. The integrated activities of the organs in an organ system are required for the efficient functioning of that particular organ system. Similarly, when all organ systems function in an integrated and coordinated manner, then the survival of an organism is guaranteed.

Overview of the Body Organization

In humans and other multicellular organisms, there are different types of animal cells and tissues that perform functions in a coordinated manner. Some of the different types of animal tissues in human beings are the epithelial tissue, connective tissue, muscular tissue and nervous tissue.

All or some of these tissues together form the organs in the body, depending upon the particular function. For example, the heart, lungs, stomach, kidney, skin, liver are made up of two or more types of tissues, where each tissue serves a specific function. The skin provides protection, the heart pumps blood, the lungs take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide and so on and so forth.

When the organs group together they form the organ systems. Each organ system has to work in a coordinated and integrated manner. Since there is a division of labor, only when they integrate, will the final purpose be achieved. The different organ systems that can be seen in human beings are the digestive system, circulatory system, excretory system, respiratory system, lymphatic system, nervous system, skeletal system, etc.

organ system(Source: Open Source 9nx)

Solved Questions For You

Q. In the study of anatomy, what do we call an organ?

Ans. In anatomy, we call an organ a viscus. Its plural form is viscera.

Q. Do organ systems in the body, work independently?

Ans. No. Organs systems show a significant overlap of the functioning. They have to work in an integrated and coordinated manner to successfully perform the specific functions of the body.

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