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Other Terms: Anal canal viewed anatomically, Anatomical anal canal, Canalis analis, Canal anal, Analer Kanal
The anal canal is the lower portion of the rectum. It is four to five centimeters in length. It begins at about the apex of the prostate or the tip of the coccyx. Here, it passes downward and backward to the anus. It is encircled throughout almost its entire extent by the internal sphincter which permits its walls to separate only during the passage of feces. The external sphincter guards its orifice, the anus. Above the outer sphincter is the levator ani muscle which supports the bowel.