The kidney is one of the two bean-shaped organs that filters the blood, excreting the end-products of body metabolism in the form of urine. The kidneys are the major regulators of water, electrolytes, acid-base content of the blood and indirectly, all body fluids.
The Greek surgeon and philosopher discovered the excretory function of the kidney after performing an experiment on an animal (most likely a monkey). The experiment is as follows:
- He ligatured (tied up) the ureters (the ducts that carry urine away from the kidneys to the bladder) of a live animal and let it go otherwise it would not urinate.
- After reopening the animal, he observed the ureters as distended to the point of rupturing. He also noticed an empty bladder.
- After removing the ligatures, he saw the bladder slowly getting filled with urine from the ureters.
Here is a portrait of Galen:
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