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Nitrogen is part of many important substances in living organisms.

Explain how insects excrete nitrogenous wastes.

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All animals possess a specialized excretory system for osmoregulation and the removal of nitrogenous wastes

  • In mammals, the excretory system (kidneys) is separate from the digestive system of the animal
  • In insects, the excretory system (Malpighian tubules) connects to the digestive system of the animal

Malpighian Tubules

  • Insects have a circulating fluid system called hemolymph that is analogous to the blood system in mammals
  • Malpighian tubules branch off from the intestinal tract and actively uptake nitrogenous wastes and water from the hemolymph
  • The tubules pass these materials into the gut to combine with the digested food products
  • Solutes, water, and salts are reabsorbed into the hemolymph at the hindgut, whereas nitrogenous wastes (as uric acid) and undigested food materials are excreted via the anus

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