Digestive System

What is the difference between intracellular and extracellular digestion?

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November 27, 2009 5:12PM

Intracellular = inside the cell.

Extracellular = outside the cell.

Digestion = chemical breakdown of matter into components that the body can use.
- Intracellular- food is broken down when it is in the cell (engulfed by phagocytosis), nutrients are absorbed.
Done by sponges
- Extracellular- food is broken down (with help of enzymes?) before nutrients are absorbed by/into cells.
Done by most mammals, simple animals (such as flat worms) have a gastrovascular cavity, more complex mammals (such as humans) have an alimentary canal.
In humans is takes place in different compartments (stomach, small intestine).
Extracellular dig. allows mammals to consume larger prey.