marine on Oct. 30, 2007

In anatomy, a viscus (IPA: /ˈvɪskÉ™s/) (plural: viscera /ˈvɪsÉ™rÉ™/) is an internal organ of an animal (including humans), in particular an internal organ of the thorax or abdomen. The viscera, when removed from a butchered animal, are known collectively as offal. Internal organs are also known as “innards”, or less formally, “guts” (which may also refer to the gastrointestinal tract).

The adjective visceral is used for anything pertaining to the internal organs. Historically, viscera of animals were examined by Roman pagan priests like the haruspices or the augurs in order to divine the future by their shape, dimensions or other factors.