The digestion system is a crucial study point to understand the digestive mechanism and digestive disorders.
Everything participating organ is part of the digestive system, from the chewing mechanism in our mouth to the removal of faeces from the rectum.
The digestive system of humans and rats though it goes through the exact mechanism, differs anatomically.
- The human and rat digestive systems share various similarities and differences.
- The human digestive system is more complex than the rat, with additional organs such as the gallbladder and pancreas.
- The rat digestive system has a shorter digestive tract than humans, making it easier for rats to digest certain foods than humans.
Human Digestive System vs Rat Digestive System
The difference between the human digestive system and the rat digestive system is that the human digestive system has a gallbladder where the bile juice is transferred from the liver. On the other hand, rats don’t have a g gallbladder. Rats have a separate fermentation chamber for cellulose digestion, but are absent in the human digestion system.
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The digestive system of humans constitutes the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) and the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder. The GI consists of a series of hollow organs from the mouth to the anus.
While the liver, pancreas, and gallbladder are the solid organs in the human digestive system, the hollow organs are the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and anus.
Rats belong to the order Rodentia, and there are only a few distinct features apart from which their digestive system is similar to that of humans.
Rats have a different dental formula than humans and don’t grow wisdom teeth upon ageing. They have an alimentary canal from mouth to anus but lack a gallbladder.
|Parameters of Comparison||Human Digestive System||Rat Digestive System|
|Teeth||Rats have twelve molars and four front teeth, and they are also growing. So, rats need to shave them down.||It takes 36 hours in the human body to move the food through the entire colon.|
|Digestion Time||Protein digestion takes place in rats over 1-2 hours.||Humans have a gallbladder where the bile juice is stored and concentrated in the liver.|
|Gallbladder||Humans don’t have an enlarged large intestine, and it is 6 feet long.||Rats do not have gallbladders.|
|Fermentation||Humans do not have a separate fermentation chamber.||Rats have a separate fermentation chamber for digesting cellulose.|
|Large Intestine||Common human digestive disorders are constipation, ulcers, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.||Rats have an enlarged large intestine.|
|Digestive Disorders||Pinworms are commonly found as intestinal parasites in rats, and heavy infection leads to intestinal inflammation.||Faeces|
|The colour of human feces changes according to the type of food one consumes and the amount of bile present in the stool.||Rate faeces are black and they are a common source of hantavirus.||Rate faeces are black, and they are a common source of hantavirus.|
What is a Human Digestive System?
In the GI tract of our digestive system, many types of bacteria are present that assist in digestion.
The digestive system helps to break down the food particle into tiny particles so that our bodies can absorb and use the energy for various purposes.
For example, protein break into amino acids, fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and carbohydrates into simple sugars.
The hollow organs in our digestive system are also further divided into subparts. For example, the small intestine is divided into three parts, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum.
The large intestine comprises four parts: the appendix, the caecum, the colon, and the rectum. The appendix is a finger-shaped pouch which can be removed with the help of surgery when it is infected.
The human digestive system, oesophagus, small intestine, and large intestine are responsible for peristalsis movement. The digestive juices are produced in the stomach and mixed with food.
This mixture is then called chyme which is transferred to the small intestine.
The juice secreted from the pancreas helps break down carbohydrates, fats, and proteins while the liver secrets bile helping in the digestion of fats and some vitamins.
The bile secreted is stored in the gallbladder between the intervals of meals and then transferred to the small intestine. Stool formation takes place in the large intestine.
What is a Rat Digestive System?
The digestive system of rats consists of the alimentary canal and the digestive glands. The alimentary canal is a long tube that starts from the mouth and continues to the rectum.
The functions of this tube in different regions are different. Rats have 16 teeth,, and the upper lip has an aperture in the middle. The front teeth, i.e., the incisors, are visible from the outside.
The dental formula of a rat is 188.8.131.52/184.108.40.206.
A rat’s stomach is similar to that of a human in that it also secretes digestive juices and takes part in indigestion.
Although the entire digestion process in rats takes less time than in the human digestive system, after the stomach, there is a small and large intestine.
The large intestine of the rat is entirely enlarged, unlike that of humans.
In rats, there is no gallbladder in their digestive system for storing and concentrating bile juice.
So, the digestive glands contributing to the process are salivary glands, liver, pancreas, gastric glands, intestinal glands, and spleen. The faeces of a rat can contain many harmful viruses.
For example, it may contain Hantavirus, which then mixes into the air and affects the lungs of human beings.
Main Differences Between a Human Digestive System and a Rat Digestive System
- Humans have a total of 32 teeth (including four wisdom teeth), whereas rats have a total of 16 teeth and they grow throughout their life span.
- It takes 36 hours in a human body to move the food through the entire colon whereas the protein in rats takes only 1-2 hours for digestion.
- Humans have a gallbladder where the bile is stored and concentrated but in rats they are absent.
- Humans do not have a separate fermentation chamber, whereas rats have one for the digestion of cellulose.
- Humans don’t have an enlarged large intestine and it is 6 feet long but rats have an enlarged large intestine.
- The colour of human faeces changes according to the type of food one consumes and the amount of bile in the stool, whereas rats have solid black droppings.
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Piyush Yadav has spent the past 25 years working as a physicist in the local community. He is a physicist passionate about making science more accessible to our readers. He holds a BSc in Natural Sciences and Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Science. You can read more about him on his bio page.