Egestion vs Excretion: Difference and Comparison

The human body is a complex system. Cells come together to form Tissues; Tissues form Organs, and the Organs altogether form the Organ System.

The Organ System is the basis of every process that takes place in the body. The Organ System is divided into 12 major systems that collectively take care of bodily functions. The Digestive System and Excretory System are two of the major systems.

Key Takeaways

  1. Egestion is the process of eliminating undigested waste materials from the body, while excretion is the process of eliminating metabolic waste products from the body.
  2. Egestion mainly involves eliminating solid waste materials from the digestive tract, while excretion mainly involves eliminating liquid waste materials from the body.
  3. Egestion is a mechanical process, while excretion is a chemical process.

Egestion vs Excretion

The difference between Egestion and Excretion is that Egestion is the process of removal of undigested food particles from the body, whereas, Excretion is the process of release of metabolic wastes from the body. Egestion comes under the function of the Digestive System, while Excretion comes under the function of the Excretory System.

Egestion vs

The food which could not be digested in the process of digestion comes out through Egestion. Sometimes, the undigested food is released through the mouth. This takes place in rare situations only. The process of egestion occurs only in animals.

On the other hand, Excretion is the process of elimination of metabolic wastes from the cells of the body. The toxins or waste products are filtered out from the cells by this process.

It occurs in both plants and animals. The wastes are released through the kidneys, lungs, skin etc. Excretion helps in keeping the cells clean and free from toxicity.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonEgestionExcretion
DefinitionEgestion is the removal of undigested food from the body.Excretion is the release of wastes from the body.
Type of WasteUndigested food and other toxins left after digestion. Metabolic wastes including carbon dioxide, sweat etc.
Occurs inIt occurs only in animals. It occurs in plants as well as animals.
OrgansIt occurs rarely through the mouth. It occurs through kidneys, lungs, skin.
Materials ReleasedThe faeces are released through egestion. Sweat, urine, carbon dioxide are released through excretion.
SystemEgestion is a part of the digestion process. Excretion is the main function of the excretory system.
SignificanceIt completes the process of digestion. It keeps the cells of the body clean.

What is Egestion?

The body could not function without the list of life processes that take place within. These processes are grouped under major systems of the body.

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The Digestive System is one such major system of the body. Its primary function is digestion. Digestion is carried out in certain steps, and Egestion is one of them.

Some of the food particles and other materials do not get digested during the process of digestion. This undigested food is then removed from the body through the mouth, which completes the digestion process.

This process of release of undigested food is known as Egestion. It occurs only in animals, not in plants.

The food substances that are released during egestion are termed faeces. First of all, the undigested food is pushed towards the rectum through muscular contractions.

Temporarily, the faeces get stored there. With the accumulation of more and more faecal matter, the rectal walls tend to expand, which results in the need to release out the faeces.

If not acted upon, the faeces return to the colon for water absorption once again.

The next wave of contractions results in the final elimination of the faeces from the body. Egestion rarely occurs through the mouth while vomiting.

Constipation and Diarrhoea are disorders of Egestion. Delay in the process causes Constipation, whereas a faster egestion where the food contains excess water causes Diarrhoea.

What is Excretion?

The excretory system is as important to the body as the digestive system. The digestive system digests the food in the body, while the Excretory System excretes the waste materials from the body in various forms.

Excretion is the primary function of the Excretory System. It occurs in both plants and animals.

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During life processes, a number of chemical reactions occur in the body. These are termed metabolism. These reactions produce wastes in the form of water, carbon dioxide, salts, uric acid and urea.

These wastes are called metabolic wastes. These are released from the body by the excretory organs. This process of release of metabolic wastes is known as Excretion.

In unicellular organisms, excretion takes place directly through the cell surface. In other words, the toxins are released through the cells directly.

Whereas in vertebrates, the organs, i.e. lungs, kidneys and skin, help in carrying out the process of excretion. The waste products come out in the form of sweat through the skin, while the kidneys filter out the wastes in the form of urine and urea.

In green plants, oxygen and excess water are released through excretion. Excretion is equally essential for both plants and animals. It helps in keeping the cells of the body toxin-free and maintains bodily balance.

Main Differences Between Egestion and Excretion

  1. Egestion is the removal of undigested food, while Excretion is the removal of metabolic wastes.
  2. Digestive System controls egestion, whereas, Excretory System controls excretion.
  3. Egestion occurs only in animals, but Excretion occurs in both plants and animals.
  4. Sweat, urea, carbon dioxide etc., are removed by excretion, while faeces are removed by egestion.
  5. Egestion occurs through the mouth, while Excretion occurs through the kidneys, lungs etc.
References
  1. https://www.mdpi.com/546508
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-the-marine-biological-association-of-the-united-kingdom/article/feeding-respiration-and-excretion-by-the-tropical-sea-urchin-tripneustes-gratilla-echinodermata-echinoidea-from-the-philippines/1DA459664848EE89E34971321952A487

Last Updated : 01 August, 2023

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23 thoughts on “Egestion vs Excretion: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The article effectively explains the significance of Egestion in completing the process of digestion and highlights common disorders associated with Egestion, such as constipation and diarrhea.

    Reply
    • I appreciate the comprehensive coverage of Egestion-related disorders and their causes. It adds depth to the understanding of this process.

      Reply
    • Yes, it’s interesting to learn about the implications of Egestion disorders and their impact on the overall health of an individual.

      Reply
  2. The description of the Excretory System and its role in eliminating metabolic wastes from the body is well articulated, addressing the importance of this process in maintaining cellular health.

    Reply
    • The article effectively draws attention to the crucial function of the Excretory System and its impact on overall bodily function.

      Reply
  3. The differentiation between Egestion and Excretion in terms of waste materials, occurrence, and significance is presented lucidly, aiding in a comprehensive understanding of these processes.

    Reply
    • Absolutely, the article provides a clear delineation between Egestion and Excretion, making it easier to grasp the distinctions between the two concepts.

      Reply
  4. This article explains the concept of Egestion and Excretion brilliantly, providing a clear and concise explanation of the differences between the two processes and their significance in the human body.

    Reply
  5. The article effectively highlights the importance of the excretory system in releasing metabolic wastes and maintaining cellular cleanliness.

    Reply
    • I fully agree with you, the article’s emphasis on the excretory system’s significance in waste elimination is noteworthy and enlightening.

      Reply
    • The article’s focus on the significance of the excretory system in upholding cellular health through waste removal is truly commendable.

      Reply
  6. The article manages to provide a comprehensive understanding of Egestion and Excretion, elucidating their respective processes and pertinence in biological systems.

    Reply
  7. The detailed explanation of the egestion process and the faecal elimination mechanism enhances the comprehension of egestion and its related functions in the human body.

    Reply
  8. The detailed explanation of excretion as a vital process in eliminating metabolic wastes from the body conveys the significance of the excretory system effectively.

    Reply
    • I share the same viewpoint, the article adeptly illustrates the critical role played by the excretory system in maintaining internal balance and health.

      Reply
    • The article offers a nuanced understanding of excretion, emphasizing its importance in preserving the body’s homeostasis and efficient waste management.

      Reply
  9. The comparison table provided in the article serves as a useful reference, outlining the key differences between Egestion and Excretion.

    Reply
  10. This article provides an in-depth overview of Egestion and Excretion, shedding light on their individual roles and contributions to the overall health of living organisms.

    Reply

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