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Human Umbilical Cord, 200X
In placental mammals, the umbilical cord (also called the navel string, birth cord or funiculus umbilicalis) is a conduit between the developing embryo or fetus and the placenta. The umbilical cord enters the fetus via the abdomen, at the point which (after separation) will become the umbilicus (or navel). Within the fetus, the umbilical vein continues towards the transverse fissure of the liver, where it splits into two. One of these branches joins with the hepatic portal vein (connecting to its left branch), which carries blood into the liver. The second branch (known as the ductus venosus) bypasses the liver and flows into the inferior vena cava, which carries blood towards the heart. The two umbilical arteries branch from the internal iliac arteries, and pass on either side of the urinary bladder into the umbilical cord, completing the circuit back to the placenta.