Q:

How do fish digest their food?

A:

Quick Answer

Fish have a basic digestive system with stomachs that are adapted to the type of food the fish eats. Food that is taken in is partially digested in the stomach before moving into the intestine where it is further digested, and it is in the stomach that the nutrients from the food eaten are absorbed.

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Full Answer

Food that is not absorbed exits the fish's body through the anal opening as waste. It is important to feed fish the food that is recommended for them. For example, herbivorous fish require a high-fiber diet, while carnivorous fish need protein-rich food. Carnivores have shorter intestines and overall more simplistic systems, thus the process of moving food through the body differs slightly.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do we need to digest food?

    A:

    Digestion helps the body absorb nutrients from food for nourishment, energy and cell tissue repair, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, or NIDDK. Food must be broken down by digestive enzymes before the molecules can enter the bloodstream to deliver essential nutrients to cells.

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  • Q:

    How long does it take to digest fish?

    A:

    It takes from 24 to 72 hours to digest fish, which contains proteins and fats. Generally, food takes six hours to move through the stomach and small intestine. Nutrients and water are absorbed in the large intestine, and the residue is excreted through the colon and rectum after 24 hours.

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  • Q:

    How do sharks digest food?

    A:

    To some degree, sharks digest food similarly to humans. Food is taken into the stomach, where enzymes and other bio-agents break it down. Once this process has been accomplished, the resulting substance is guided into the intestines; however, the shark's system has the capability to distinguish things it has ingested but which supply no nutritional value or which are too big for digestion. In these cases, the excess is expelled.

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  • Q:

    How long does it take to digest food?

    A:

    Researchers from the Mayo Clinic found that on average the entire process from the time someone eats until the time they eliminate takes about 53 hours. However, the time it takes to digest food is not the same for various individuals and for men, women and children as groups.

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