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Anal Glands

The anal glands or anal sacs are small glands near the anus in many mammals. They are situated in between the external anal sphincter muscle and internal anal sphincter muscle. Their function in humans is unclear.

Sebaceous glands within the lining secrete a liquid that is used for identification of members within a species. These sacs are found in many species of carnivorans, including wolves, bears, sea otters and kinkajous.

The anal glands are situated within the wall of the anal canal and communicate with the lumen of the canal via ducts that open at the anal valves, just proximal to the pectinate line. Humans have 12 anal glands on average (which are evenly distributed around the circumference of the anal canal). The glands are situated at varying depths in the wall of the anal canal; some between the layers of the internal and external sphincter (the intersphincteric plane).

During times of stress a glider can spontaneously empty their anal glands creating a strong unpleasant odor (called skunking).
Posted By Gremelin Posted on January 4th, 2024
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