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Describe and explain how the mammalian digestive system is adapted for the digestion and absorption of the food that they ingest?

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Mammalian Digestion and Absorption: Dec 2002 Describe and explain how the mammalian digestive system is adapted for the digestion and absorption of the food that they ingest? In mammals the digestive system comprises of six major sites which are the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, and the colon(large intestine). Digestion involves the mechanical, chemical, and physical breakdown of large solid food particles into smaller manageable ones, and also large complex molecules into smaller more simple ones. ...read more.


The salivary glands secrete saliva a mixture of mucous and amylases to act on carbohydrate molecules and also to soften and lubricate the food making it easier to swallow. The salivary glands are stimulated by the presence of smell of food. When the food is finally swallowed the pharynx is met. The pharynx is a chamber which is a junction for the trachea and oesophagus. ...read more.


The stomach is a sac like structure made of five layers which are the mucosa, sub-mucosa, muscualris, serosa and subserosa. The cells involved in digestion in the stomach are mucous cells which secrete alkaline mucous, parietal cells which secrete hydrochloric acid, chief cells which secrete pepsinogen which is the inactive form of the pepsin enzyme, and G cells which secrete the hormone gastrin. When the food material is mixed in with these enzymes and acids a fluid is formed called gastric juice. In this concoction ...read more.

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