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In anatomy, a squamous epithelium (from Latin squama, "scale") is an epithelium whose most superficial layer consists of flat, scale-like cells called squamous epithelial cells. The epithelium may be composed of one layer of these cells, in which case it is referred to as simple squamous epithelium, or it may possess multiple layers, referred to then as stratified squamous epithelium.
Squamous epithelial cells have a polygonal appearance when viewed from above.