Key Difference – Excretion vs Osmoregulation
Homeostasis is the ability of our body to detect and oppose the changes that push away from the balance points. It is a vital process occurs in all living organisms to maintain a healthy life. Through homeostasis, organisms balance the temperature, water content, pH, concentration of glucose, etc within their internal body environment even though the external environmental factors have fluctuated higher beyond the balance points. Excretion and osmoregulation are two processes that are used by organisms during their homeostasis. Excretion is the process of removing toxic substances, metabolic waste products, excess water, non-useful products, etc from the body. Osmoregulation is the maintenance of the water level in the body fluids. When the water content is balanced, the osmotic pressure of the body fluids is balanced. The key difference between the excretion and osmoregulation is the process. The process of elimination of harmful, toxic, non-useful substances from the body is known as excretion while the balancing of the uptake and loss of water and solutes is known as osmoregulation.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Excretion
3. What is Osmoregulation
4. Similarities Between Excretion and Osmoregulation
5. Side by Side Comparison – Excretion vs Osmoregulation in Tabular Form
What is Excretion?
Excretion is the process of eliminating the metabolic wastes and non-useful materials from the body. It is a useful process which aids the removal of toxic and unnecessary substances from the body to maintain a balanced environment within the body. Excretion of vertebrates occurs via lungs, kidney and through the skin.
Formation of urine is done by the kidneys while the exhalation of carbon dioxide is done by the lungs. Urination, exhalation, and defecation are major events of excretion. Excretion system is a major organ system that is functioning in living organisms.
What is Osmoregulation?
Osmoregulation is the maintaining of the water balance of the body fluids. In other words, osmoregulation is the active regulation of the osmotic pressure of organisms’ fluids. All organisms have mechanisms to regulate water balance in their bodies. When the water uptake and water loss within the cells, tissues and body fluids are regulated, solute potentials eventually become normal within the cells. Variety of solutes are dissolved in fluids of cells, tissues and other body fluids, as these fluids are served as the media for all biochemical reactions occur in the body. However, when the water balance is achieved, these fluids will not become too diluted or too concentrated.
Water loses from the body continuously in the form of sweat, tears, urine, feces etc. Osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus detect the changes in the water balance or the concentration changes of the blood and body fluids. Once they detect, using different mechanisms, water balance is restored.
Organisms show different structural and behavioral adaptations to minimize water loss from their bodies. In plants, stomata play an important role in maintaining water balance within the plant. In humans, kidney plays a big role in regulating the osmotic pressure of the fluids.
What are the Similarities Between Excretion and Osmoregulation?
- Both excretion and osmoregulation are two processes that aid the homeostasis of the body.
- Both excretion and osmoregulation are important processes of living organisms.
- Both excretion and osmoregulation occur in kidneys.
- In both excretion and osmoregulation, excess water is eliminated from the body.
What is the Difference Between Excretion and Osmoregulation?
Excretion vs Osmoregulation
|Excretion is the process of removing waste products and toxic substances from the body.||Osmoregulation refers to the process of maintaining constant osmotic pressure within the body fluids by keeping the water balance.|
|Excretion is a type of elimination.||Osmoregulation is a type of balancing the uptake and loss of water.|
|Excretion events are exhalation, defecation, and urination mainly.||Exosmosis and endosmosis are the main events of osmoregulation.|
Summary – Excretion vs Osmoregulation
Excretion is the removal process of harmful and unnecessary substances from the body. It is done by the organ system called excretory system. Defecation, urination, and exhalation are main events of excretion. It is an important process which affects the overall homeostasis of the body of living organisms. Osmoregulation is another way of maintaining homeostasis of the body. It is the process of maintaining the water balance of the body. Organisms regulate the osmotic pressure of their body fluids to maintain the water balance in order to prevent body fluids becoming too diluted or too concentrated. The main difference between excretion and osmoregulation is that excretion is the removal of metabolic waste, toxic substances and non-useful material from the body while osmoregulation is the homeostatic regulation of osmotic pressure in the body in order to maintain constant water content.
1.’Bee anatomy excretion glands’By Schéma (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Osmoseragulation Carangoides bartholomaei bw en’By Kare Kare modified by Biezl – Own work, (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia