Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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First portion of the small intestine that leads from the pylorus of the stomach to the jejunum. In humans, the duodenum receives acidic chyme from the stomach; here bile emulsifies fats and pancreatic secretions help to change the pH to a more alkaline environment. The duodenum is about 25 cm long; its name derives from the fact that Leonardo da Vinci measured the duodenum as twelve finger breadths.

See jejunum and ileum.

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