A Comparison of Digestive Systems

This paper looks at the comparison of the various digestive systems of a cat, rat, goat, tortoise and a chicken, looking at their different diets to the structure of their buccal cavity through their internal digestive tract to elimination via the anus or cloaca.


Digestion in animals is the break down of huge macromolecules (proteins, fats and starches) into smaller components by the body, using techniques of mechanical and chemical actions so that nutrition can be absorbed in the stomach and gastrointestinal tract or alimentary canal, into the circulatory system for dissemination around the body, ending with the excretion or defecation of the solid, semisolid or liquid waste material or faeces from the digestive tract via the anus.


Food is essential to the diet in order to maintain a healthy body structure, vital organs and bowels.

Each animal is equipped with their own unique way of obtaining, masticating and absorbing their particular diet. Their individual diet dictates to them how they go about getting the most of their food by using the chemicals they produce in their saliva and the enzymes they have in their stomach and digestive system (see Table 1 below). The chicken’s digestive system is very simple and efficient compared to that of a goat.

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