alimentary canal, gut, enteric canal, enteron


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alimentary canal, gut, enteric canal, enteron

or

gastrointestinal tract

the tubular passage that extends from MOUTH to ANUS. It has several distinct functions:
  1. ingestion of food via the mouth, utilizing teeth and tongue;
  2. DIGESTION of food beginning in the mouth and continuing in the STOMACH and SMALL INTESTINE;
  3. ABSORPTION of nutrients in soluble form, occurring mainly in the small intestine, with water being taken in via the large INTESTINE;
  4. elimination of faecal material via the anus, the faecal material containing a mixture of undigested food and excreted material such as BILE SALTS. See DIGESTIVE SYSTEM.