alimentary canal of an animal through which food passes after having passed all stomachs
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The intestines, divided into the small intestine and the large intestine, of an animal are like a tube through which food and bile from the stomach move.

A diagram showing the intestines of a person

The first part of the small intestine is called the duodenum, where most food is broken down by enzymes. Later, the small intestine absorbs useful compounds from the digested food, which is done using small villi or tiny microvilli [1] - hair-like structures in the walls of the intestine.

The large intestine, also called the bowel, absorbs water and any other nutrients, as well as vitamins made by the gut flora in the colon. Finally, waste is expelled through the anus.[2]


  1. "Small intestine: biology of the digestive system: Merck Manual Home Edition". 2011. Archived from the original on 24 January 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  2. Maton, Anthea; et al. (1993). Human biology and health. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA: Prentice Hall. ISBN 0-13-981176-1.