Koala bears have a big appendix, because they
eat lots of plants - eucalyptus leaves, mostly -
and so they need special bacteria, and a longer
time, to digest all those tough leaves. We can
eat meat as well as plants, and we've cooked
some of our plants for a long time, so we don't
need so many special bacteria or such a long
digestion time to digest our food.
Animals that eat lots of tough plants, such
as guinea pigs, also have a big cecum, which is
a pouch between the appendix and the large
intestine. That's also for digesting the tough
plants. We only have a little cecum, too.
There's a new idea, that the appendix keeps
our gut bacteria safe when we get diarrhea and
lose most of the bacteria in our guts.
Scientists are still learning, even about
things, such as the appendix, that we've known
about for centuries.
Keep asking questions! Best wishes,
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