General Question

Ltryptophan's avatar

Why are belly buttons located there?

Asked by Ltryptophan (12091points) July 11th, 2011 from iPhone

Why weren’t they closer to the head, etc.?

The thing I’m interested in is why it was a good spot not why the other spots were bad.

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It’s at the center of the body, mass-wise, and would make the transportation of nutrients throughout the fetus close and easy.

MilkyWay's avatar

Isn’t the belly button where the fetus got it’s food from when it was in the womb?
I think that the reason because the placenta ( tube which delivers oxygen/nutrients to the baby from the mother) is giving it to the baby’s stomach, it’s only logical for it to be there.

Buttonstc's avatar

For the same reason that your stomach is not located in your head or your feet.

intrepidium's avatar

The umbilical cord delivers nutrients from the mother to fetus and it makes sense (most efficient biologically) to deliver it closest to the point of absorption in the fetus’ gut…

thorninmud's avatar

The umbilical chord contains blood vessels that then tie into the fetus’ own circulatory system, not its digestive system. The neighborhood of the liver offers good connectivity to the circulatory system. The connections happen at the hepatic portal vein going into the liver, and another at the left hepatic vein which carries blood away from the liver toward the heart.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

It has to do with more than nutrients.

The umbilical cord is composed of Wharton’s jelly, a gelatinous substance made largely from mucopolysaccharides. It contains one vein, which carries oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood to the foetus, and two arteries that carry deoxygenated, nutrient-depleted blood away. Occasionally, only two vessels (one vein and one artery) are present in the umbilical cord. This is sometimes related to fetal abnormalities, but it may also occur without accompanying problems.

It is unusual for a vein to carry oxygenated blood and for arteries to carry deoxygenated blood (the only other examples being the pulmonary veins and arteries, connecting the lungs to the heart). However, this naming convention reflects the fact that the umbilical vein carries blood towards the fetus’s heart, while the umbilical arteries carry blood away. Source

If this is true, it would seem to make sense that it would be closer to the heart and lungs. But if the nutrients are going into the digestive system, it would make more sense to have it be attached in a more central location to all of these bodily functions. GQ.

thorninmud's avatar

The thing is, the fetus’ lungs and digestive system aren’t contributing anything while it’s in the womb. They have literally nothing to do yet. The blood is coming in already oxygenated and nourished, and just needs to get circulated.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@thorninmud Thank you. After going back to your first response and looking up “hepatic portal vein”, as well as looking up where it is located, the naval location makes much more sense.

snowberry's avatar

In addition, the blood vessels that entered the body through the umbilical cord have become ligaments which help hold things together after birth. You notice this because a pregnant woman’s belly button sticks out, (pregnancy causes ligaments to stretch) but the belly button of a fat person stays in the same place, and the stomach grows around it.

Translation: It still has a function after birth!

Lightlyseared's avatar

It’s at the centre of the body because its one of the first things the fetus needs and the fetus develops from the centre out.

augustlan's avatar

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