Digestive Systems of Sheep, Koala & Humans

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Digestive Systems of Sheep, Koala & Humans

Post by nigel123 » Sun Apr 03, 2005 7:09 am

The diet of koala consists eucalyptus leaves
The diet of sheep consists of fibrous plants
The diet of human consists of a wide range of plants, animals and animal products.

1. Humans have the shortest digestive system compared to its body length. how does this relate to its diet.

2. Sheep has the longest digestive sstem compared to its body lenght. Explain how does this relate to its diet.

3. Compare the diets of sheep and koalas. Can u explain the diffferences in the length of their digestive systems in terms of their diets?

I understand that the sheep and koalas have large caecums for microbial fermentation. And the sheeps stomach is more complex with chambers compared to the koala. Need help on the above 3 questions. Thanks.

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Post by MrMistery » Sun Apr 03, 2005 6:18 pm

This question can be reduced to chemistry. The plant molecules are much bigger than those in the animal body. Therefore they are much harder to brake down=> digestion at herbivores takes longer and they have a longer digestive system.
Now the difference between the diet of the koala and the sheep. I'm guessing that it is easier to digest eucaliptus leaves than fibrous plants so the digestive system of the koala should be shorter. I'm not sure on this last one however...
Hope this is of some help
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter

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