The human body is so complex, with so many organs with diverse functions that it can be hard to keep track of everything. For that reason, we’ve written out a detailed organ map of the human body, dividing organs into groups based on the organ systems they belong to and then giving anatomical reference points for each organ. The organ systems we will cover are the integumentary system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, digestive system and the urinary system.
Organs of the integumentary system
The integument of the human body is made up of skin, hair and nails. While we might not think of it as an organ, the skin is actually the largest organ of the human body. The integumentary system functions to hold our insides together, contains many sensory receptors (part of the nervous system) and helps regulate body temperature with sweat glands and body hair.
Organs of the nervous system
The primary organ of the nervous system is, of course, the brain. Located in the cranium, the brain is connected to the rest of the body via: the brain stem, the spinal cord, and many nerves which allow the brain to be in constant communication with other parts of the body. Most of the body’s nerves originate in the spinal cord and are called spinal nerves; however, twelve nerves known as cranial nerves originate from the brain itself, and innervate different parts of the facial and neck anatomy for sensory and motor impulses.
Anatomy of the cardiovascular system
The cardiovascular system is made up of the heart, which is located in the chest cavity behind the ribs, slightly left of center, and all of the body’s blood vessels (arteries, veins and capillaries). The lungs, while technically part of the respiratory system, are often included in maps of the circulatory system because of their role in gas exchange in the blood. Blood vessels extend to every part of the body, with arteries carrying blood away from the heart and veins carrying blood towards it. The lungs are located in the chest cavity, one on each side with the heart in between them.
Anatomy of the endocrine system
The endocrine system is responsible for producing and regulating the various hormones that circulate throughout the body. It includes several important glands, the pancreas and the genitals (testes in males and ovaries in females). The first major gland is the pituitary gland, which is located in the brain beneath the hypothalamus. Next is the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck around the trachea. The pancreas is an organ located in the abdominal cavity, with its head to the right of the stomach and its tail extending behind the stomach. The adrenal glands are found on top of the kidneys (suprarenal), below the liver in the abdominal cavity. Finally, the testes in men are located in the scrotum outside of the body, while the ovaries in women are located in the lower portion of the abdominal cavity, one on each side, slightly higher than the urinary bladder.
Organs of the digestive system
The digestive system begins in the mouth and extends down through the pharynx and esophagus (throat) into the stomach, which is located on the left side of the abdominal cavity, underneath the left lobe of the liver. As the stomach curves medially, it joins with the duodenum of the small intestine and the gallbladder. The small intestine is folded upon itself many times, filling much of the lower abdominal cavity and measuring approximately 20 feet in length, terminating in the cecum which connects it to the large intestine (colon). The first part of the colon is ascending and travels up the right side of the body, then across the width of the abdominal cavity as the transverse colon, and then down the left side of the body (descending colon), ending at the rectum.
Anatomy of the urinary system
The organs of the urinary system include the kidneys and urinary bladder. The kidneys are located near the back of the abdominal cavity beneath the liver, where they receive blood through their arteries, filter out toxins and waste products, and send that waste fluid (urine) to the urinary bladder through the ureters. The bladder is located low in the abdominal cavity, roughly center. Urine is eliminated from the body through the urethra, which in males extends through the penis and in females in front of the vaginal opening.