Describe in brief the structure and function of placenta.


Placenta refers to the temporary vascular organ found in mammals, which attaches the fetus to the uterus of the mother during pregnancy.


The placenta is defined as an organ that develops during pregnancy in mammals. The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to the growing fetus in the uterus of the mother.

Structure of placenta

Both maternal and embryonic tissue are found in the placenta. The chorion is the embryonic part of the placenta. Chorion is made up of trophoblast, which is created following implantation by the growth of cells. The chorion is formed from the trophoblasts and produces a finger-like structure known as the chorion villa. These villi are part of embryonic trophoblast cells and are surrounded by maternal blood. The intervillous space is the area between the maternal blood and the villi.

Characteristics of placenta

  • The placenta in mammals is divided into two types, namely the yolk sac placenta and chorioallantoic placenta.
  • The placenta is disk-shaped and measures up to 22 cm in length.
  • The placenta is also rich in blood vessels.
  • The placenta is formed by the chorion and the uterine tissue.

Functions of placenta

  • The placenta is the passage that unites the fetus to the mother.
  • Transmission of nutrients and oxygen from mother to the fetus and the release of carbon dioxide
  • The waste materials from the fetus is excreted through the placenta.

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