The Open Door Web Site
Part II :Movement and Feeding : Index
How Food is Digested Summary (useful for revision)
Sea anemones sting their prey to kill it
Earthworms have a simple digestive system
THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM OF OTHER ANIMALS
In general, animals have an opening through which they take in food and an opening through which the non-digested food is eliminated. Sometimes there is only one opening for both of these functions.
Sea anemones use their tentacles to capture their food. The tentacles sting the prey to kill it and then move the prey to the mouth. The mouth is placed at the centre of the mass of tentacles. When the sea anemone has absorbed all the useful parts of the food, what remains is pushed out of its mouth when it contracts.
Earthworms have a very simple digestive system. The eat the earth as they burrow through it. The edible things in the earth are broken down and absorbed into the earthworm's body. The earthworm digests and absorbs very small pieces of dead leaves and dead animals. The parts of the soil which cannot be digested are eliminated at the anus which is right at the back (posterior) and of the earthworm. When the earthworm feeds it helps to break down the remains of dead plants and animals in the soil. It leaves the soil more fertile and with smaller particles.
The owl swallows its prey whole, including the bones. When it has digested the edible parts of its food the bones and the other non-digestible parts are pushed out through its mouth in a small ball called a pellet.
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