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The endocrine system consists of a series of glands that produce regulatory chemicals, which are known as hormones. The term endocrine means that these glands lack ducts, or exit passageways. They secrete their products directly into the cellular environment. The endocrine system includes these glands: pituitary, pineal, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenal, pancreatic_islets, ovaries, and testes. We will review some, but not all, of these in our lab.

We do not cover the microscopic structure of the thymus in lab, but you are responsible for identifying the thymus in the cat. The endocrine function of the thymus involves producing several hormones that regulate the production and maturation of T-cells (T-lymphocytes).

Aorta Heart Trachea Heart Thymus Lobe of lung Trachea Trachea Right carotid artery Left carotid artery Trachea Thymus Left lung lobes Right lung lobes Right common carotid artery Left common carotid artery