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The Digestive System

Feedback Systems
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Comparative Anatomy


This page will clear up any questions about vocabulary you may have.

Mastication: chewing

Gastrovasucular Cavities: Digestive sacs with single openings that function in both the digestion and distribution of nutrients throughout the body.

Bolus: Food that is shaped into a ball to help it go through the digestive track.

Peristalis: rhythmic waves of contraction by the smooth muscles and helps push the food along the tract.

Enterochromaffin cells: Any of several types of hormone-secreting cells present throughout the epithelium of the digestive tract that often stain readily with silver or chromium salts

Salivary glands: A gland that secretes saliva, especially any of three pairs of large glands, the parotid, submaxillary, and sublingual, whose secretions enter the mouth and mingle in saliva.

Pancreas: A long, irregularly shaped gland in vertebrates, lying behind the stomach, that secretes pancreatic juice into the duodenum and insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin into the bloodstream.

Salivary Amylase: A digestive enzyme that hydrolyzes starch and is present in saliva.

Pepsin: An enzyme present in gastric juice that hydrolyzes protein.

Pepsinogen: The synthesized form of pepsin that is secreted in an inactive form

Did you know that there are 5 steps in digestion?

1. movement: propels food through the digestive system

2. secretion: release of digestive juices in response to a specific stimulus

3. digestion: breakdown of food into molecular components small enough to cross the plasma membrane

4. absorption: passage of the molecules into the body's interior and their passage throughout the body

5. elimination: removal of undigested food and wastes

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