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what are mucous membranes

A mucous membrane or mucosa is a membrane that lines various cavities in the body and surrounds internal organs. It consists of one or more layers of epithelial cells overlying a layer of loose connective tissue.

It is mostly of endodermal origin and is continuous with the skin at various body openings such as the eyes, ears, inside the nose, inside the mouth, lip, the urethral opening and the anus. Some mucous membranes secrete mucus, a thick protective fluid. The function of the membrane is to stop pathogens and dirt from entering the body and to prevent bodily tissues from becoming dehydrated.

The mucosa of organs are composed of one or more layers of epithelial cells that secrete mucus, and an underlying lamina propria of loose connective tissue.The type of cells and type of mucus secreted vary from organ to organ and each can differ along a given tract