Digestive System > Physiology and Anatomy

Functional Anatomy of the Digestive System

The digestive system is composed of the digestive or alimentary tube and accessory digestive organs. The basic terminology used to describe parts of the digestive system is shown below and more detailed description of each is presented in later sections.

The digestive system depicted above - a carnivore - is the simplist among mammals. Other species, even humans, have a more or very much more extensive large intestine, and ruminants like cattle and sheep have a large set of forestomachs through which food passes before it reaches the stomach.

Each of the organs shown above contributes to the digestive process in several unique ways. If you were to describe their most important or predominant function, and summarize shamelessly, the list would look something like this:

Microanatomy of the Digestive System

Last updated May 20, 2020. Send comments to Richard.Bowen@colostate.edu

A Russian language translation of this page by Patrick Wright and can be found at Russian translation