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Diagram of the Human Lymphatic System (Infographic)

Infographic: How the lymphatic system works.
The lymphatic system helps keep the body healthy by eliminating infections and diseases. (Image credit: by Ross Toro, Infographics Artist)

The lymphatic system is a network of tissues and organs that primarily consists of lymph vessels, lymph nodes and lymph. Its primary function is to transport lymph, a clear, colorless fluid containing white blood cells that helps rid the body of toxins, waste and other unwanted materials.


Lymph nodes are small oval structures that are an important component of the body's immune system and help in fighting infections. They function as filters of lymph, catching any debris or cells present in the lymph.


The tonsils, adenoids, spleen and thymus are all part of the lymphatic system.


The tonsils are a large cluster of lymphatic cells found in the pharynx.


Lymph nodes produce and store cells that fight infection and disease. There are 600 to 700 lymph nodes in the human body.


The thymus is the organ where T-cells mature. T-cells help destroy infected or cancerous cells. 


The spleen is the largest lymphatic organ in the body. It contains  white blood cells that fight infection and disease.


Ross Toro
Ross Toro is a contributing infographic artist for Live Science. He specializes in explanatory graphics that deal with science topics. Ross is a former art director of the Los Angeles Times, Associated Press and United Press International. He teaches Filipino martial arts when not dabbling in cartoons and animation.