Nutrition in Animals Class 7 Science Notes - Chapter 2

Different Ways of Taking Food

  • Each species or type of organism has its own way of taking in food.
  • Bees and hummingbirds suck plant-nectars, infants of humans, and some animals feed on mother’s milk. For example, snakes such as pythons consume animals upon which they prey.
  • Aquatic animals filter small food particles floating close by and feed on them.

To know more about “Different Ways of Taking Food”, visit here.

Digestion in Humans

  • The digestive tract and the associated glands together constitute the digestive system in humans.
  • This constitutes the whole path along which food moves through the body, starting from the mouth and ending at the anus.
  • The digestive tract includes the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine.
  • Salivary glands, liver and pancreas are the major digestive glands.

For more information on Human Digestive System, watch the below video

Buccal Cavity

  • The buccal cavity is more commonly known as the mouth, and it is the beginning of the digestive system for humans.
  • It consists of the tongue and teeth.
  • Teeth: Helps in chewing food and breaking down food into smaller particles.
  • Tongue: Fleshy muscular organ attached at the back to the floor of the buccal cavity.
  • Saliva is secreted in the mouth and helps in the breakdown of food.


  • It is a muscular organ, fleshy in nature, attached to the back of the base of the buccal cavity.
  • It helps in mixing saliva with food while chewing and aids in swallowing.
  • The tongue possesses taste buds that help us recognise different tastes.

Tooth Decay

  • Bacteria present in the mouth break down the sugars present from the leftover food and release acid.
  • These acids gradually damage the teeth and result in tooth decay.

Oesophagus or food pipe

  • The food that is swallowed passes into the oesophagus.
  • It is a muscular tube, about 25 cm long, with a sphincter (valve/opening) at each end.
  • Its function is to transport food and fluid, after being swallowed, from the mouth to the stomach.
  • Food is propelled down as there is movement through the walls of the food pipe.


  • It is a thick-walled bag-like structure.
  • It obtains food from the food pipe and opens into the small intestine towards the other opening.
  • The inner lining of the stomach produces mucus, hydrochloric acid(HCl)and other digestive juices.
  • Food is churned into a semi-solid mass in the stomach.
  • Enzymes present in gastric juice disintegrate the food.
  • Hydrochloric acid helps in partial digestion of proteins and also kills harmful bacteria.

Small Intestine

  • This is a highly coiled organ of 7.5 metres in length.
  • It receives the secretion from the liver and pancreas.
  • Complete digestion and absorption of food take place in the small intestine.
  • The inner walls of the intestine have finger-like outgrowth called villi.
  • Villi increase the surface area for the absorption of food.
  • Each villus has a small network of blood vessels.
  • Absorbed food by villi is transferred to the body via blood vessels.

Large Intestine

  • It is wider and shorter than the small intestine.
  • It is 1.5m in length.
  • Absorption of water and salt from undigested food occurs in the large intestine.
  • The remaining waste matter is passed out through the rectum.
  • From time to time, faecal matter is removed through the anus (egestion).


  • The anus is the opening at the end of the human digestive tract.
  • The removal of faecal matter from the large intestine occurs through the anus and this process is called egestion.

Saliva and Salivary glands

  • Three pairs of salivary glands are present around the mouth and they pour their secretion, saliva, into the mouth by salivary ducts.
  • Saliva has mucous and salivary amylase.
  • Mucous helps in easy passage of food through the food pipe.
  • Salivary amylase is an enzyme responsible for breaking of starch content of food into simpler sugars.

Gall Bladder

  • The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ present under the liver, on the right side of the body.
  • It stores bile juice secreted by the liver.
  • Bile plays an important role in the digestion of fats.


The process of taking food into the body is called ingestion


The breakdown of complex components of food into simpler substances is called digestion.

  • Partial digestion takes place in the stomach and complete digestion takes place in the intestine.

Absorption & Assimilation in Small Intestine

  • The digested food is taken up by the blood vessels lining the small intestine’s walls. This phenomenon is referred to as absorption.
  • The inner walls of the small intestine have many finger-like outgrowths called villi.
  • The substances that are absorbed are transported through blood vessels to various organs of the body where it is utilized to build complex substances like proteins essential for the body. This is called assimilation.

To know more about Human Digestive System, visit here.

Digestion in Grass-Eating Animals

  • The digestive system in grass-eating animals is different from that of humans.
  • These animals chew continuously, even when they are not eating.
  • They swallow the grass very fast and store it in a chamber called Rumen.
  • In the rumen, the bacteria partially digest the food, and now it is called as cud.
  • Later, the cud reverts to the mouth, and the animal chews it again slowly.
  • This phenomenon is referred to as rumination, and the animals are called ruminants.
  • They also have a very long small intestine, which helps in the complete digestion of cellulose, the main component of grass.


  • Partially digested food, returned from the rumen into the mouth, for further chewing is called cud.


  •  Rumination is the process by which the cattle regurgitate previously consumed feed and masticate it a second time.

To know more about “Digestion in Grass Eating Animals”, visit here.

Feeding and Digestion in Amoeba


  • Amoeba is a single-celled organism, microscopic in nature, found in pond water.
  • Amoeba regularly changes its shape and position.

Process of Digestion in Amoeba

  • Amoeba captures the food particles with the help of pseudopodia. The process is called phagocytosis.
  • A food vacuole is thus created with the food material inside.
  • Digestive juices are produced into the food vacuole when it is moving through the cytoplasm.
  • They act on the food and disintegrate it into simpler substances, and the digested food is then absorbed.
  • Finally, the food vacuole opens to the outside and undigested food is released into the surrounding water.

Frequently Asked Questions on CBSE Class 7 Science Notes Chapter 2 Nutrition in Animals


What are the main parts of the digestive system?

The digestive system includes the mouth, pharynx (throat), oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus.


What is meant by ingestion?

The process of taking food into the body is called ingestion.


Why do cows ruminate?

Rumination is the process by which the cow regurgitates previously consumed feed and chews it further. This physical process improves the digestion rate in cows and, thereby, allows for higher levels of feed intake, thus, greater nutrient input.


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