   Amniocentesis (Amniotic Fluid Test or              Parathyroid glands are usually four
    AFT) test is technique of finding out sex          parathyroid glands which lie alongside the
    and disorder of foetus.                            thyroid gland. The parathyroid gland is
                                                       involved in calcium, phosphate and vitamin D
Length of Pregnancy (Gestation Period) in              regulation.
some mammals
                                                       Adrenal glands are two adrenal glands which
  Mammal      Gestation   Mammal      Gestation        sit on top of each kidney. They make a number
              Period                  Period
  Buffalo     310 days    Horse       340 days         of different hormones. The outside part of the
  Cat         62 days     Human       280 days         gland (adrenal cortex) makes cortisol,
  Cow         280 days    Lion        120 days         aldosterone and sex hormones. The centre of
  Dog         62 days     Tiger       100 days         the adrenal gland (adrenal medulla) makes
  Elephant    610 days    Rat         21 days
                                                       adrenaline. Adrenaline is an example of a
                                                       hormone that is under the control of the
ENDOCRINE SYSTEM                                       nervous system.
It is the collection of glands that produce            Pancreas is an organ of digestion which is
hormones that regulate metabolism, growth              inside the abdomen. It makes insulin, which
and development, tissue function, sexual               controls the amount of sugar in the
function, reproduction, sleep, and mood,               bloodstream. It also makes other hormones
among other things.                                    such as glucagon and somatostatin.
The main glands and organs of the endocrine            Ovaries are inside the female pelvis. They
system include:                                        make female sex hormones like oestrogen.
Pituitary gland is inside the brain. It oversees       Testes they hang in the male scrotal sack.
the other glands and keeps hormone levels in           They make male sex hormones like
check. It can bring about a change in hormone          testosterone.
production somewhere else in the system by
                                                       Other lesser known endocrine organs include:
releasing its own ‘stimulating’ hormones. The
pituitary gland is also connected to the nervous       Adipose tissue (fat tissue) is recognised to be
system through part of the brain called the            metabolically important. It releases hormones
hypothalamus. The hormones released by the             such as leptin, which affect appetite, and is
pituitary gland are gonadotropins (LH and              also a site of oestrogen production. Insulin
FSH), growth hormone (GH), thyroid                     also acts on adipose tissue.
stimulating            hormone            (TSH),
adrenocorticotropic       hormone       (ACTH),        Kidneys produce erythropoietin (EPO) which
prolactin, antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin.          stimulates red blood cell production, produce
                                                       renin which is needed for blood pressure
Thyroid gland sits in the neck at the front of         regulation and produce the active form of
the windpipe. It releases thyroid hormone (T4          Vitamin D (1–25 dihydroxy vitamin D3)
and T3) which is required for metabolism and
body homeostasis. It is controlled by TSH              Gut is an increasing number of hormones in
which is produced by the pituitary gland               the gut are being researched and being
through a feed-back loop.                              understood to effect metabolism and appetite.
                                                       Included are glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP–1),
                                                       ghrelin which stimulates appetite, and
                                                       somatostatin.
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