Biology -Glossary Terms

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Biology -Glossary Terms


Digestion: The process begins from the mouth by salivary amylase (starch-breaking enzyme) and continues till the duodenum. The enzymes chemically break down food into simpler soluble products, stage by stage, and prepare nutrients for absorption.

Ingestion: Food is ate, chewed and mixed with saliva.

Assimilation: The nutrients are then assimilated (taken to) various organs around the body.

Absorption: The blood absorbs soluble products.

Physical digestion: Teeth to increase surface area for enzyme action to break down food.

Chemical digestion: Food is mixed with saliva and salivary amylase breaks down some starch from the food (if there is) into maltose.

The chemical digestion continues till the duodenum.

Lysozyme: Chemical found in the saliva used to kill bacteria.

Defecation (Egestion): Undigested matter such as fiber is egested (moved out) of the body. Excretion is the removal of waste products made by chemicals reaction within the cells; e. g. Excreting urine.

Dental Caries: Tooth decay.

Cusps: ‘hills’ on the teeth of carnivores and omnivores.

Oesophagus: Gullet.

Hydrochloric acid (HCl acid): Kills bacteria and provides and acidic pH for pepsin to work.

Saprophytic: When saprophytic organisms such as fungi and some bacteria that feed on dead decaying matter. Saprophytes are useful to the environment because they recycle nutrients.

Parasitic: When parasitic organisms feed on or in another organism harming it.

Holozoic (heterotrophic): Animals feed heterotrophically, because they must search for their food. Herbivores eat vegetable matter and have special bodily structures to help them digest cellulose. Carnivores eat meat and are usually predators. Omnivores, such as humans eat both meat and vegetable matter.

Holophytic (autotrophic): Plants feed with this type of feeding. They are able to make their own food by photosynthesis.

Mucus: Protects the stomach from being digested by the enzymes.

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