Elephant Anatomy - Digestive System2015
By Amelia Meyer
The mouth, where food begins its digestive process, is relatively small compared to the enormous animal itself. In addition, this mouth is not able to open very wide either. Digestion in the mouth is aided by the ample saliva produced by the many salivary glands in the mouth as well as by the mucus glands in the oesophagus. Saliva contains enzymes that begin breaking the food down. It also serves along with the mucus to lubricate the tough vegetation eaten by the elephants, which even includes thorns and bark.
The muscular oesophagus ushers the food into the stomach, which acts more as a storage sac as not much digestion takes place in this organ. The elephant's stomach is cylindrical in shape and the middle of the organ is particularly glandular. From here, food is ushered into the extraordinarily long intestines. The intestine of an elephant can reach up to 19 metres in length!