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Part II :Movement and Feeding : Index

How Food is Digested Summary (useful for revision)
How Food is Digested : Questions

Introduction : Animal Movements
Carnivores, Herbivores and Omnivores
Movement on Land
Joints in the Human Skeleton
How Muscles Work
Movement in the Air
Movement in Water
Recognizing and Choosing Food
How Animals Feed : Carnivores
How Animals Feed : Herbivores
How Food is Digested
Foods which give us Energy

Topic Chapters Index

 

Sea anemone, Bristol Zoo, UK © Shirley Burchill

Sea anemones sting their prey to kill it

 

Earthworms in compost heap © Shirley Burchill

Earthworms have a simple digestive system

THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM OF OTHER ANIMALS

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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.

 

Jellyfish

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.

 

The Earthworm

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

Owl with prey © Paul Billiet

 

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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