Actually, humans and other mammals have some of
the strongest stomach acid around.
stomach produces hydrochloric acid (HCL), which is
very strong. However, its not our stomach acid
that breaks down food in the stomach. The acid
just allows another chemical, called pepsin, to
work properly and break down food. Pepsin is a
digestive enzyme. Other digestive enzymes are
found in you saliva and intestine.
and its chemicals are just part of the digestion
story. Most animals have three ways to break down
food to get its energy: mechanical,chemical, and
bacterial. Chewing is a mechanical way to break
down food.The digestive enzymes in saliva, the
stomach, and the intestine chemically break down
food. Helpful, natural, bacteria in the intestine
also assist in digestion. What animals can digest
depends on all three, so stomach acid is really
the least of the story.
For example, humans
cant digest cellulose, also called fiber, found in
plants. Cows have intestinal bacteria that can
break down cellulose so that the cow can use it
for food. They also chew their food multiple times
to break it down. So its not the stomach acid that
allows the cow to have a more powerful digestive
Venomous snakes swallow their prey
whole and depend entirely on digestive enzymes to
break down their food. Their venom has digestive
enzymes in it to start digesting prey before it is
even swallowed. They have more powerful enzymes,
not stronger acid. They still cant digest bones
and other hard parts.
I think the most
impressive stomach would probably belong to the
white shark. They have huge stomachs with very
powerful digestive enzymes. They eat their prey in
large chunks. Because great white sharks swim
almost constantly, they need to digest quickly.
Their stomachs turn prey into liquid very rapidly.
Their intestine has digestive enzymes that further
break down food. As a result they can almost
completely digest the seals and other mammals they
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