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Functional Morphology and Diversity$
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Les Watling and Martin Thiel

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780195398038

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195398038.001.0001

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Feeding and Digestive System

Feeding and Digestive System

Chapter:
(p.237) 8 Feeding and Digestive System
Source:
Functional Morphology and Diversity
Author(s):

Les Watling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780195398038.003.0008

This chapter considers the process of digestion. The means by which crustaceans ingest food despite being covered in an exoskeleton are introduced. Then the differing complexities of the guts of malacostracans and non-malacostracans are considered. Non-malacostracans generally have a relatively simple foregut and a large, saclike midgut. On the other hand, most malacostracans are characterized by having a strongly elaborated foregut, which in the simplest forms involves a series of infoldings and ridges but in decapods may be armored with a series of calcareous ossicles. The addition of enzymes along with the maceration action of the armature on the ridges produces a soupy mixture that is pressed against one or more filters in the floor of the foregut. The main chemical digestion and uptake of digested food take place in the midgut. Undigested material, along with some water absorption and binding of material into fecal pellets, occurs in the hindgut.

Keywords:   crustaceans, Crustacea, feeding, digestion, foregut, midgut, hindgut, digestive system

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