The appendix is a little pouch sticking out of
the large intestine. Specifically, it sticks out
of the caecum, which is fairly small in us.
Guinea pigs have a big caecum, because they eat
lots of raw plants and need a place in their
intestines to digest this stuff that's hard to
digest. Some groups of mammals, including us!,
have an appendix.
Appendicitis is the most common illness in the
appendix. That means the appendix is inflamed -
red, swollen, and sore! When your tonsils are
inflamed, that's called 'tonsilitis.' And there
are lots of illnesses where some part of the body
is inflamed - those illnesses usually have 'itis'
at the end of the name, and the name of the body
part at the beginning of the name.
Wikipedia says the most common cause of
appendicitis is when some bit of fecal matter -
'poop' - gets stuck there instead of passing
through the intestine. Then the appendix gets
swollen and filled with mucous, and the swollen
appendix squeezes off the little blood vessels and
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