The duodenum /ˌduːəˈdinəm/ is the first section of the small intestine in most higher vertebrates, including mammals, reptiles, andbirds. In fish, the divisions of the small intestine are not as clear, and the terms anterior intestine or proximal intestine may be used instead of duodenum. In mammals the duodenum may be the principal site for iron absorption.
In humans, the duodenum is a hollow jointed tube about 25–38 cm (10–15 inches) long connecting the stomach to the jejunum. It begins with the duodenal bulb and ends at the suspensory muscle of duodenum.