The primary function of the excretory system is to rid the body of waste to maintain homeostasis. The excretory system also regulates the balance of water, salts and other minerals within the body. Several different organs are part of the excretory system, and each has a different function.
The skin is the largest organ in the excretory system. When an individual sweats, excess fluids and salt are released, which helps to regulate body temperature. Respiration through the lungs eliminates carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. The liver is another organ in the excretory system. It produces bile, which breaks down fat and other acidic materials. The liver also breaks down toxic chemicals, such as ammonia, that then move through the urinary system.
The kidneys are part of the urinary system, and they filter the blood for waste. Necessary material goes back into the blood, and the waste is sent to the bladder. The bladder collects the liquid waste or urine until it is excreted from the body.
The large intestine is a 10-foot-long organ that extracts any remaining water from the waste material and returns it to the body. The remaining solid waste is then excreted from the body through the anus.