colon

The large intestine is the last part of the digestive system in vertebrates. Water is absorbed here and the remaining waste material is stored as feces before being removed by defecation. Terminologia Anatomica, Medscape, and Gray’s Anatomy define the large intestine as the combination of the cecum, colon, rectum, and anal canal. Other sources, such as Mosby’s Medical Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionaries of Medicine and Biology exclude the anal canal. In humans, it begins in the right iliac region of the pelvis, just at or below the waist, where it is joined to the end of the small intestine. It then continues up the abdomen, across the width of the abdominal cavity, and then down to its endpoint at the anus. Overall, in humans, the large intestine is about long, which is about one-fifth of the whole length of the intestinal canal.