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ˈā-nəs Noun 1. An opening at the opposite end of an animal’s digestive tract from the mouth. Its function is to control the expulsion of feces, unwanted semi-solid matter produced during digestion, which, depending on the type of animal, may include: matter which the animal cannot digest, such as bones; food material after all the nutrients have been extracted, for example cellulose or lignin; ingested matter which would be toxic if it remained in the digestive tract; and dead or excess gut bacteria and other endosymbionts. ( 2. The posterior opening of the alimentary canal. ( 3. (Anatomy) The lower opening of the alimentary canal, through which feces and flatus are ejected. (   Word origin: From Latin anus, meaning “ring, anus”, which is from the Proto-Indo-European ano–, meaning...

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