Nutrition in Animals – Types, Process of Nutrition in Animals
Nutrition in animals depends upon the feeding habits of the animals. Animals derive their nutrition either by eating plants directly (herbivores), or indirectly by eating animals which have consumed plants (carnivores). Some animals feed on both plants and animals; these animals are termed as omnivores. All organisms require food for their survival and growth.
Nutrition in animals is as important as it is for plants. Plants prepare their own food by the process of photosynthesis but animals cannot prepare their own food, hence they need to depend on plants or other animals for their food.
Food has different components, called nutrients, like carbohydrates, fats, minerals, proteins, and vitamins, which are required for the maintenance of the body. These components are complex and cannot be used directly, so they are broken down into simpler components by the process of digestion.
NUTRITION IN ANIMALS
WHAT IS NUTRITION ?
THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING AND UTILISING FOOD BY AN ORGANISM,IS KNOWN AS NUTRITION.NOTE– THE PROCESS OF OBTAINING FOOD IS NOT SAME IN ALL ORGANISM.
ANIMALS EAT COMPLEX FOOD MATERIALS BUT BREAK DOWN INTO SIMPLER FORMS IN THEIR BODIES. THEIR BODY GETS THE REQUIRED NUTRITION THROUGH THE THREE MAIN STEPS-1. MODE OF INTAKE OF FOOD2. FOOD HABIT3. UTILISATION IN THE BODY
MODE OF INTAKE OF FOOD
THE METHOD OF TAKING OF FOOD IS DIFFERENT IN DIFFERENT ORGANISMS.
THE RELEVANT PARTS OF THEIR BODY GET MODIFIED IN A MANNER THAT MAKES IT EASY FOR THEM TO EAT THEIR FOOD.
# A SPARROW HAS A SHORT BEAK TO PICK UP SEEDS AND WORMS .
# THE LONG, TUBULAR BEAK, OF THE HUMMING BIRD, HELPS IT TO SUCK NECTAR FROM THE FLOWERS.
# THE COW HAS SHARP INCISORS AND FLAT MOLAR TEETH THAT HELP IT TO CUT AND GRIND PLANT MATERIALS.
THERE ARE MANY MORE EXAMPLES.
FOOD HABITS OF ANIMALS
ON THE BASIS OF THEIR FOOD HABITS, ANIMALS HAVE BEEN CATEGORISED INTO THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES.
THE ANIMALS, LIKE COW AND DEER, THAT EAT ONLY PLANT MATERIALS, ARE CALLED HERBIVORES.
THE ANIMALS, LIKE LION AND TIGER, THAT EAT ONLY OTHER ANIMALS, ARE CALLED CARNIVORES.
ANIMALS, LIKE BEAR AND HUMAN BEINGS, THAT EAT BOTH ANIMALS AND PLANTS MATERIALS, ARE CALLED OMNIVORES.
UTILISATION IN THE BODY
THE NUTRIENTS ENABLE LIVING ORGANISMS TO BUILD THEIR BODIES, TO GROW, TO REPAIR DAMAGED PARTS OF THEIR BODIES AND TO PROVIDE THE ENERGY TO CARRY OUT LIFE PROCESS.
MODES OF NUTRITION
AS WE KNOW THAT THE MODE OF NUTRITION IN ANIMALS ARE HETEROTROPHIC NUTRITION.HETEROTROPHIC NUTRITION HAS BEEN CATEAGROISED INTO THREE DIFFERENT CATEGORIES-
1. SAPROTROPHIC NUTRITION = THE MODE OF NUTRITION, IN WHICH AN ORGANISM OBTAINS ITS NUTRIENTS, FROM DEAD AND DECAYING PLANT AND ANIMAL MATTER, IS KNOWN AS SAPROTROPHIC NUTRITION.
EXAMPLE= MOST FUNGI AND SOME BACTERIA ETC.
2. PARASITIC NUTRITION = THE MODE OF NUTRITION, IN WHICH AN ORGANISM (KNOWN AS PARASITE) OBTAINS FOOD FROM SOME OTHER LIVING ORGANISMS (KNOWN AS THE HOST), OF A DIFFERENT GROUP, IS KNOWN AS PARASITIC NUTRITION.
EXAMPLE = ROUND WORMS, HEAD LOUSE, BODY LOUSE AND TAPEWORMS ETC.
3. HOLOZOIC NUTRITION = THIS IS A MODE OF NUTRITION, IN WHICH ORGANISM, LIKE AMOEBA AND HUMAN BEINGS, EAT FOOD THAT MAY BE IN SOLID OR IN LIQUID STATE.
PROCESS OF NUTRITION IN ANIMALS
INGESTION = THE ACT OF GETTING, AND EATIND FOOD IS CALLED INGESTION.
DIGESTION = THE PROCESS OF BREAK DOWN, OF COMPLEX MOLECULES INTO SIMPLE SOLUBLE ONES, IS CALLED DIGESTION.
ABSORPTION = THE DIGESTEDFOOD IS ABSORBED BY THE WALLS OF THE SMALL INTESTINE FROM WHERE IT GETS PASSED ON TO THE BLOOD.
ASSIMILATION = THE ABSORBED FOOD IS UTILISED BY THE BODY, FOR GROWTH AND FORMATION, OF BODY PARTS KNOWN AS ASSIMILATION.
EGESTION = THE ELIMINATION, OF UNDIGESTED FOOD, FROM THE BODY, IS KNOWN AS EGESTION.
NOTE- IN HUMAN BEINGS ALL THESE PROCESS IS HAPPEN IN ALIMENTARY CANAL WHICH IS MADE UP OF DIFFERENT PARTS-
1. BUCCAL CAVITY
2. FOOD PIPE
NUTRITION IN SOME COMMON ANIMALS
- Amoeba ingests its food with the help of pseudopodia.
- The food is engulfed by forming a vacuole and is digested with the help of digestive enzymes.
- The digested food is absorbed directly into the cytoplasm by the process of diffusion.
- Energy is obtained from the absorbed food that helps in its growth.
- The undigested food is egested out of the body of amoeba by rupturing the cell wall.
The food is ingested with the help of the tongue and chewed. Ruminants have sharp incisors and large molars to bite and chew grass. They also have powerful jaw muscles.
After being chewed once, the food passes down the 2 to 3 feet long oesophagus. The oesophagus leads into the stomach. The stomach of ruminants has four chambers: rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum.
Rumen: The rumen helps in storing the large quantities of food that has been quickly consumed. The food is partially digested here and is now called the cud. The cud is then brought back to the mouth, re-chewed, and re-swallowed in a process called cud-chewing. The rumen has billions of bacteria and protozoa, which break down the carbohydrate called cellulose found in hay and grass.
Reticulum: The reticulum helps in moving the swallowed food back into the mouth for thorough chewing. The reticulum opens into the omasum.
Omasum: The omasum absorbs excess water.
Abomasum: The walls of the abomasum secrete digestive juices.
Absorption begins in the four-chambered stomach, but the main absorptive organs are the intestines. The food from the abomasum passes into the small intestine, where it mixes with secretions from the pancreas and liver. Most of the digestion of- carbohydrates, proteins, and fats takes place here. Several villi are present here, which help in increasing the surface area for absorption.
The small intestine leads into the large intestine. The main function of the large intestine is to absorb water and eliminate the undigested food as faeces.
- Ingestion is the process the food is taken inside through mouth and broken down by teeth and initial digestion takes place in the mouth by saliva.
- Digestion is the process in which food is digested by using few enzymes and is used by the cells for producing energy.
- Absorption is the process in which cells use the energy from the digested food and helps in building tissues in our body.
- Assimilation is the process in which digested food moves into the cells of the body.
- Egestion is the process in which undigested food is removed out from the body through excretion.
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TWO MOST ASKED QUESTIONS IN EXAMS
What are the two important modes of nutrition?
The two important modes of nutrition include:
- Autotrophic nutrition: In this type of nutrition, the plants and other photosynthetic organisms prepare their own food with the help of sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.
- Heterotrophic nutrition: The animals cannot prepare their own food. Therefore, they have to rely on other animals for nutrition. This is known as heterotrophic nutrition.
Why is nutrition important for animals?
Nutrition helps in proper growth and maintenance of the cells. It provides energy to carry out different life processes.
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