The fundamental elements of the urinary apparatus are the kidneys (french: les reins) - two glandular organs situated in the loins behind the peritoneum, each of which is provided with a duct - the ureter - for the passage of the secretion to a reservoir - the bladder - by which it is periodically expelled from the body through a tube of outlet - the urethra.

These structures do not form any part of the genito-urinary apparatus, but it is convenient to describe them in association with the glands by which they are supported.

The excretory duct of the kidney is a musculo-mucous canal, expanded and irregularly branched above, narrow and of fairly uniform dimensions in the rest of its course.

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