Generally, the digestive system is the organ system in animals that ingest and digest food particles, absorb and assimilate nutrients while eliminating the undigested materials. However, the organs in the digestive system can be divided into two categories as the alimentary canal and accessory organs. The alimentary canal is also known as the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, there is no significant difference between the alimentary canal and gastrointestinal tract.
Basically, the alimentary canal starts from the mouth and terminates at the anus. The main function of the alimentary canal is to undergo active digestion of food and absorption of nutrients. In contrast, accessory organs are responsible for the chemical digestion of food by secreting enzymes. Some of them include the salivary glands, the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Alimentary Canal
– Definition, Components, Function
2. What is the Gastrointestinal Tract
3. What is the Difference Between Alimentary Canal and Gastrointestinal Tract
– Comparison of Key Differences
Alimentary Canal, Digestive System, Gastrointestinal Tract, Intestines, Stomach
What is Alimentary Canal
The alimentary canal is one of the two organ systems of the digestive system, the other being the accessory organs. The other names for alimentary canal include gastrointestinal tract (GIT), digestive tract, digestive tract, gut, etc. Moreover, the main functions of the alimentary canal include digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. Generally, it is 25 feet long. The organs of the alimentary canal include the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and the anus.
Furthermore, the mouth is the opening of the alimentary canal. It is also important for the intake of food. Besides, both mechanical and chemical digestion of food particles starts from the mouth. In humans, there are 32 teeth in the mouth, aiding in the breaking down of large food particles into small particles. Meanwhile, chewing mixes those particles with saliva, producing food bolus. Then, pharynx connects the mouth to the esophagus, which transfers food into the stomach. Furthermore, the stomach is the main organ in the alimentary canal, responsible for both mechanical and chemical digestion of food. After that, the partially digested food or chyme moves to the small and large intestines, which are the organs responsible for the absorption of most of the nutrients in the digested food. Ultimately, the undigested materials are eliminated through the anus.
What is the Gastrointestinal Tract
The gastrointestinal tract is another name for the alimentary canal.
Difference Between Alimentary Canal and Gastrointestinal Tract
- The alimentary canal is one of the two components of the digestive system of animals. It is also known as the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, there is no difference between alimentary canal and gastrointestinal tract.
The alimentary canal is one of the two organ systems of the digestive tract. It is composed of organs that start from the mouth to the anus. They include the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and the anus. Moreover, both mechanical digestion and chemical digestion occur inside the alimentary canal. Furthermore, the alimentary canal is also known as the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, there is no difference between the alimentary canal and gastrointestinal tract.
1. “154 23.1 Overview of the Digestive System.” Anatomy and Physiology, OpenStax, 6 Mar. 2013, Available Here.
1. “Digestive system diagram en” By Mariana Ruiz, Jmarchn – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia