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Play  Why were frogs and toads linked with evil and illness?  whyfrogsbadname.mp3  
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Play  Since frogs swallow their food whole how do they digest it so efficiently?   why frogs guts are so efficient 5min18.mp3  
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Frogs swallow their food whole with implications for how they digests that food. Biologists have  discovered that it's not really the frog that does most of the work required.    
Frogs have very short intestines leading from their very large stomachs. Given that this is the opposite of humans it seems likely that frog digestion would be less efficient. However this is not the case.

While there is a lot of enzymic and acidic activity in a frog’s stomach to start the digestive process, the real digestive efficiency comes from another body part that until relatively recently, had been overlooked by frog biologists.

Where the small intestine joins the large intestine are located two small pouches that are home to many micro organisms (protozoa and bacteria). These are responsible for breaking down the food materials very efficiently. In turn, the end products of their activity are returned to the frog intestine and these provide the frog with the nutrients it needs.

Text: V.B. December 2009

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