How Do Amphibians Digest Their Food?

An amphibian digests food via its alimentary canal, which is composed of its mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines and cloaca. The stomach of an amphibian secretes gastric juices useful in the breakdown of food. Food flows from the stomach into the first section of the small intestine, called the duodenum, through motion controlled by the pyloric sphincter muscle. Bile, secreted by the liver and stored in the gall bladder, digests fats.

A frog is an amphibian. According to Bright Hub Education, frogs do not chew foods like other animals, making it necessary for their digestive systems to function optimally. The amphibian?s digestive system is composed of two parts: the alimentary canal and digestive glands. The alimentary canal provides the physical environment for digestion of food, while digestive glands produce chemical substances that facilitate the breakdown of food particles. Amphibians produce pancreatic juice in the pancreas and use it to break down food in the small intestines.

A study of an amphibian?s alimentary canal published by the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists showed that the size of an amphibian's small intestine depends on diet. Amphibians that relied on purely vegetable food were shown to have a long intestine, while those that exclusively ate meat had a shorter one. Animals that ate a mixed diet had an intestine of medium length.