Stomach acid helps us by aiding in the
digestion of food. Additionally, it helps
kill off harmful bacteria in our food, hence
why many scavengers have strong stomach acid
(Vultures, Hyenas, etc.) to combat the harmful
bacteria in the food they eat.
Stomach acid is measured in pH, where a smaller
pH is stronger acid. For example, the white backed
vulture has a stomach pH of 1.2 and a great white
shark has a pH of 1.3. Some other animals with
strong stomach acid include humans (pH 1.5), bald
eagles (pH 1.3), ferrets (pH 1.5), possums (pH
1.5), owls (pH 1.3), and the common buzzard (pH
Stomach acid isn’t the only factor in food
digestion, digestive enzymes and bacteria in the
intestine perform the bulk of breaking the food
down to extract its energy. For this reason, even
though humans have stronger stomach acid than
cows, they still can’t digest cellulose so they
cannot eat only grass like cows do. So having
the strongest stomach acid doesn’t necessarily
mean the animal can digest food the fastest or
survive off the most sources of energy.
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