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Comparative Anatomy

Digestive System

Note Set 11
Chapter 13
Digestive System

Six major subdivisions

Oral cavity




Small & large intestine

Digestive System

Agnatha - straight
digestive tube
Coiled tube evolved with
lengthening of tract

Figure 11.1: Simple to complex digestive

Oral Cavity
Begins at mouth, ends at
Tongue in floor of cavity
Palate in roof of cavity
Primary palate
Secondary palate

Figure 11.2: Human oral cavity.

Primary palate in
anamniotes- nasal
passageways empty into oral
Ex: Salamander
Secondary palate of
amniotes- extends to
pharyngeal cavity
Internal nares
Figure 11.3: Oral cavity of
amphibian (a) and mammal (b).
On jaws normally
Cheeks in mammals form pocket
Acrodont teeth- fish and snakes
Bicuspid- amphibians
Tricuspid- lizards
Pleurodont teeth- snakes
Thecodont teeth-

Figure 11.5- Types of cusps.

Figure 11.4- Cross section of jaw.
Jaw Teeth and Cheek

Used for storage- rodents and squirrels

Modified placoid scales- sharks
Polyhyodont- permanent replacement of teeth
Diphyodont- two sets of teeth
Monophyodont- one set of teeth
Bird Teeth

Egg caruncle- all egg layers

Not actual tooth
Structure epidermal, horny,
On tip of snout

To penetrate egg shell

Figure 11.6: Egg caruncle of 15 day

old owlet.
Reptilian Teeth

Egg tooth- lizards and snakes

Actual tooth
Upper jaw
To penetrate egg shell

Figure 11.7: Monitor egg tooth..

Modifications of Snake Teeth

Aglyphous- no modifications
for venom delivery
Solenoglyphous- retractable
teeth, fangs
Proteroglyphous- fangs in front
of mouth
Opisthoglyphous- fangs in back
of mouth
Figure 11.8: Position, cross and
longitudinal sections of aglyphous (1),
opisthoglyphous (2), and solenoglyphous
(3) fangs.
Mammalian Teeth
For cutting
Ex: elephant tusks
For piercing
Ex: walrus tusks
Premolars & Molars
To matriculate food
Diastema- space without Figure 11.9: Mammalian teeth
teeth; e.g., no canines
Mammalian Teeth

Heterodont dentition
Other varieties
Homodont- all teeth the same
Bunodont- all teeth on single plain

Sectorial teeth carnassials; e.g., upper premolar and

lower molar in carnivores
Dental Formula
Catarrhines and humans have
2-1-2-3=16 x 2 = 32 total teeth
Canines: 3-1-4-2 and 3-1-4-3
If 0 is present, diastema is present

Figure 11.10: Dental formulae.

Immobile in jawed fish
Fleshy in higher vertebrates
Frog- tongue shoots out and draws
Glandular field secretes sticky fluid
Immobile tongue- turtles, crocs,
and some birds
Flexible tongue- nectar feeding
bats and snakes
Forked tongue of snake
Figure 11.11: Jacobsons organ (sensing
apparatus) of snake and forked tongue.
Oral Glands
Named based on location
Labial- near the lips
Palatal- near palate


Sublingual- releases venom

Parotid- salivary gland


Birds have few oral glands

Swifts Figure 11.12: Swift and nest.
In embryo, exhibits series of lateral
pharyngeal pouches
Gives rise to various glands
Slits in pharyngeal region

Figure 11.13: Embryonic pharyngeal Figure 11.14: Adult regions of pharynx.

arches and oral development.
Constant Features in Tetrapods
Glottis-slit to larynx
Covered by epiglottis
Eustachian tube- opening
Esophagus- opening

Pharynx further subdivided for food and air

Foramen cecum- groove on back of tongue
Vestigial structure the leads to embryonic thyroid

Figure 11.15: (a) Upper respiratory tract of human showing pharynx regions and
(b) hyoid and larynx.
Muscular tube connecting pharynx
and stomach
Can be short
Crop- specialization in birds
Outpocketing of esophagus
Used to store food

Pigeons milk

Figure 11.16: Esophagus and

crop of bird.
Muscular chamber
Secretes gastric juices
Different lining of stomachs
Esophageal-like epithelia
Glandular epithelia
Ruminant stomach
4 chambers: rumen, reticulum,
omasum, abomasum
Human stomach
Figure 11.17: Stomach of mammals with
Cardiac sphincter- esophagus esophageal-like epithelia in gray and glandular
epithelia in red.
meets stomach
Mostly lined with gastric epithelium
Stomach Structure
Greater and lesser curvature
Greater omentum attaches along greater curvature
Lesser omentum attaches along lesser curvature

Cecum- increases surface area

2 parts in bird and crocodile stomach
Gizzard- grinding mill (gastroliths)
4-Chambered Stomachs
Rumen- food enters
Bacterial action
Reticulum- forms a bolus
Omasum- reswallowed grass
Salivary action
Abomasum- food worked out
by gastric glands

Figure 11.18: Stomach of calf.

Small Intestine

Duodenum- 1st segment

Bile and pancreatic ducts
Jejunum and Ileum

Figure 11.19: Digestive tract showing

regions of small intestine.
Small Intestine
Brunners Glands- mucous glands in duodenum
and jejunum
Peyers Patches- lymphatic nodules in ileum
Crypts of Lieberkhns- intestinal glands at base
of villi
Lacteals- within villiinterior lymphatic vessels
Transport fat molecules to circulatory system
Valve of Kirckring- increases surface area
Small Intestine

Figure 11.20: Histology of alimentary canal of a mammal

showing various glands of small intestine.
Large Intestine
Fish and amphibians - straight and short
Amniotes- divided into colon and rectum

Ileocecal valve- allows passage from small intestine

into large
Sigmoid flexure- S-shaped region
at rectum
Cecum- aids in absorption
Terminates at vermiform appendix
Cloaca- common chamber for
digestive, urinary, and reproductive
products to empty (includes monotremes)
Figure 11.21: Large intestine of human.
Liver is diverticulum of primitive gut
Liver produces bile
Bile stored in gallbladder
Common bile duct
Ampulla of Vater- terminal portion

Figure 11.22: Development of liver and pancreas.

Pancreas diverticulum of gut
Duct of Santorini- small, dorsal pancreas
Duct of Wirsung- large, ventral pancreas
Accessory duct- large duct after small, dorsal
duct disappears
Exocrine and endocrine glands
Islets of Langerhans- endocrine glands
Rectal gland- diverticulum in sharks
Literature Cited
Figure 11.1, 11.3, 11.4, 11.5, 11.10, 11.15, 11.16, 11.17, 11.18 & 11.22- Kent, George C. and Robert K.
Carr. Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates. 9th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2001.
Figure 11.2-
Figure 11.6-
Figure 11.7-
Figure 11.8-
Figure 11.9-
Figure 11.11-
Figure 11.12-
Figure 11.13-
Figure 11.14-
Figure 11.19-
Figure 11.20- Kardong, K. Vertebrates: Comparative Anatomy, Function, Evolution. McGraw Hill,
Figure 11.21-