Digestive System in Reptiles

Digestive System in Reptiles

Digestive System in Reptiles

The process of breaking down of complex food into simpler forms with the help of various enzymes is known as digestion. The system that deals with with this process of digestion is known as digestive system.

Digestive system of reptiles can be studied under  following  two headings:-

  1. Alimentary Canal
  2. Digestive Glands


Digestive System in Reptiles

  1. Alimentary Canal
    1. Mouth and buccal cavity
      Mouth in reptiles is a transverse wide opening present at the tip of their head. It is immediately followed by wide buccal cavity which usually consists of structure like teeth  and tongue. Teeth in them are comparatively more developed than amphibians. And they are of homodont , polyphyodont and acrodont /pleurodont/thecodont type.

      Teeth are completely absent in turtles and tortoises. Teeth in most snakes are acrodont type, teeth in  most lizards are of pleurodont type while crocodiles have  thecodont type. Tongue in snakes and lizards is elongated , protrussible and forked (divided) at its free end while tongue in turtles, tortoise and crocodiles are compatatively short and non protrussible and not forked.
    2. Pharynx
      Pharynx in them is short and it leads towards the oesophagus.
    3. Oesophagus
      It is a short, wide and tubular organ leading towards the stomach. Oesophagus in snakes and lizards is comparatively elongated.
    4. Stomach
      Stomach in snakes and lizards is elongated and spindle shaped, stomach in turtles and tortoises is elongated and curved while stomach in crocodiles is very large in size and is divisible into anterior proventriculus containing the gastric glands and posterior gizzard containing the hard lining to grind the food.
    5. Small intestine
      Small intestine is the longest part of alimentary canal separated  from the stomach by narrow constriction called pyloric constriction. It is the important part as is responsible for the digestion of food and absorption of digested food. It is divisible into anterior duodenum and posterior long and much coiled ileum.
    6. Large intestine
      Large intestine in them is a wide tubular organ divisible into anterior colon and posterior rectum. Colon helps in absorption of water while rectum  helps in temporary storage of undigested food materials. In between ileum of small intestine and colon, there is a small pouch or sac like organ called caecum.
    7. Cloaca and Cloacal Aperture
      Rectum is followed by a short cloaca which opens outside through the cloacal aperture through which the undigested food materials are passed outside.

      Alimentary Canal of Reptiles

 

  1. Digestive Glands
    • Liver
      Liver in reptiles is long cylindrical and flattened organ.  It is usually trilobed and consist of gall bladder to store bile secreated by liver cells.
    1. Pancreas
      Pancreas in them is a small diffused (not compact) gland present at the posterior part of stomach and duodenum. It secretes pancreatic juice containing various enzymes to digest the food.
    2. Salivary Gland
      Reptiles lack salivary gland but their buccal cavity consist of poision glands especially in poisionous snakes which are modified parotid glands(a type of salivary gland). These poision gland secrete a  various chemicals including proteases which can digest the protein.

If you want to learn Digestive System in Amphibians , Click Here.

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