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alimentary canal

continuous, coiled, hollow, muscular tube that winds through the ventral body cavity and is open at both ends


a mucuous membrane-lined cavity where food enters the digestive tract


a fleshy fingerlike projection of the soft palate which extends downward from its posterior edge


the space between the lips and cheeks externally and the teeth and gums internally

linguinal frenulum

a fold of mucous membrane which secures the tongue to the floor of the mouth and limits its posterior movements


a passageway that conducts food to the stomach and runs from the pharynx to the stomach


innermost layer of the alimentary canal organs; a moist membrane that lines the cavities of the alimentary canal organs


soft CT layer containing blood vessels, nerve endings, lymph nodules, and lymphatic vessels

muscularis externa

muscle layer made up of an inner circular layer and an outer longitudinal layer of smooth muscle cells


outermost layer of the alimentary canal organs; consists of visceral and parietal peritoneum

submucosal nerve plexus

nerve plexus in the submucosa

myenteric nerve plexus

nerve plexus in the muscularis externa

cardioesophageal sphincter

valve between esophagus and stomach

pyloric sphincter

valve exiting the stomach


large folds of the stomach

greater curvature

convex lateral surface of the stomach

lesser curvature

concave medial surface of the stomach

lesser omentum

double layer of peritoneum which attaches the lesser curvature to the liver

greater omentum

attaches greater curvature to the body wall

gastric juice

solution secreted from the gastric glands

chief cells

produce protein digesting enzymes

parietal cells

produce hydrochloric acid which makes the stomach contents acidic and activated the enzymes


what food is after it has been processed in the stomach; resembles heavy cream

ileocecal valve

the valve at the end of the small intestine


1st area of the small intestines that is attached to the stomach and curves around the head of the pancreas


attaches to the duodenum; middle part of small intestines


final part of the small intestines that attaches the jejunum to the large intestines


tiny projections of the plasma membrane of the mucosa cells cells that give the cell surface a fuzzy appearance


a modified lymphatic capillary in each villus

circular folds (plicae circulares)

deep folds of the mucosa and submucosa layers of the small intestines; these folds do not disappear when you eat a lot


sac-like 1st area of large intestines


accumulated lymphatic tissue that hangs from the cecum


major part of the large intestine


descending portion of the colon which ends in the anal canal


opening to the exterior

salivary glands

glands that empty their secretions into the mouth

salivary amylase

enzyme in the clear serous portion that begins the process of starch digestion in the mouth

parotid glands

glands that lie anterior to the ears


chewing. opening and closing of our jaws and moving them from side to side while using the tongue to move the food between our teeth

deciduous (baby/milk) teeth

first set of teeth that appear around 6 months old

permanent teeth

second set of teeth that all erupt by the end of adolescence


chisel-shaped teeth adapted for cutting


fanglike teeth for tearing or piercing


teeth in front of the molars used for grinding food


teeth that have a broad crown with rounded cusps specialized in the grinding of food


covered with enamel and is the exposed part of the tooth above the gum


portion of the tooth embedded in the jawbone


the region where the root and crown are connected

falciform ligament

the delicate mesentery cord that suspends the liver from the diaphragm and the abdominal wall


yellow-to-green watery solution containing bile salts, pigments, cholesterol, phospholipids, and electrolytes

common hepatic duct

where bile leaves the liver

gall bladder

small, thin-walled green sac that snuggles in a shallow fossa in the inferior surface of the liver

cystic duct

where bile backs up when food digestion is not occurring


active, voluntary process of placing food into the mouth


movement of food from one organ to the next


involuntary action involving alternating waves of contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the organ wall


moves food back and forth across the internal wall of the organ, serving to mix it with the digestive juices


elimination of indigestible substances from the body via the anus in the form of feces


swallowing. has three phases: buccal, pharyngeal, esophageal

buccal phase

1st phase of swallowing where food is forced into the pharnyx by the tongue

pharyngeal-esophageal phase

2nd phase of swallowing where food is transported through the pharynx and esophagus


hormone that prods the stomach glands to produce more of the protein-digesting enzymes, mucus, and hydrochloric acid

brush border enzymes

break down double sugars into simple sugars and complete protein digestion

pancreatic juice

contains digestive enzymes and bicarbonate to neutralize acid


hormone that influences release of pancreatic juice and bile

cholecystokinin (CCK)

hormone that influences release of pancreatic juice and bile


more or less solid product delivered to the rectum that contains undigested food residues, mucus, and bacteria

mass movements

long, slow-moving but powerful contractile waves that move over large areas of the colon three or four times daily and force the contents toward the rectum

defecation reflex

spinal reflex that causes the walls of the sigmoid colon and the rectum to contract and the anal sphincters to relax

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