Digestive System, Part 4: Monogastric

Aspen Johnson

Compared to the other digestive systems I've talked about, the monogastric is pretty simple. Hogs, humans, cats and dogs do all of their digestion this way. Although the nutrient requirements vary from species to species, cats must have meat for the taruine, while dogs are considered "optimistic carnivores," they all gain nutrients the same way.

While three of the four digestive systems have the same basics; teeth, stomach, cecum, rectum, esophagus... The way they digest are different. Monogastrics are considered to be the simplest digestive system, just in the way that food is processed. The feed starts at the mouth where it is masticated by the teeth. (Masticated is a fancy word for chewing and only agriculture nerds, and medical professionals, like me know what it means.)

Saliva provides enzymes to start breaking down the feed particles and to help the mash of feed move down the esophagus. The stomach holds and further digests the feed particles. The feed then continues to the small intestine for nutrient absorption and to the large intestine for liquid absorption.

By now, most of the feed is digested and what is not digested is stored as fecal material. And that just about sums up the monogastric digestive system. If you would like to learn more, the BHSAgriculture page has a good breakdown of ruminants, poultry and monogastrics (they include horses in this category, due to the fact they only have one stomach.)

As always and until next time, 
Aspen Johnson

PS: If you found these past four posts boring (don't worry, I almost fell asleep writing this one,) have no fear! The one to be released next week will be the cat's meow. ;) No, literally, I interviewed the cats that live here and they had some opinions they wanted me to hear. 



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