Animal Function Review
An Animal’s Diet Must Supply Essential Nutrients and Carbon Skeletons for BiosynthesisIn addition to providing fuel for ATP production, an animal’s diet must also supply the raw materialsnecessary for biosynthesis, such as carbon skeletons. Essential nutrientsEssential nutrientsEssential nutrientsEssential nutrients are materials that must beobtained in preassembled form because the animal’s cells cannot make them from
raw material.An animal whose diet is missing one or more of the essential nutrients is said to be malnourishedmalnourishedmalnourishedmalnourished. Thefour types of essential nutrients are essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals:Essential amino acids:Essential amino acids:Essential amino acids:Essential amino acids: while the body can synthesize about half of the 20 amino acids, theremaining essential amino acids must be obtained from food in a prefabricated form. A dietwith insufficient amounts of one or more essential amino acids causes protein deficiency.Essential amino acids are found in meat, eggs, cheese, and other animal products. The onesfound in animal products are “complete,” meaning they provide all the essentials in theircorrect proportions. Those found in plant proteins tend to be “incomplete,” lacking one or moreessential amino acids.Essential fatty acidsEssential fatty acidsEssential fatty acidsEssential fatty acids: these consist of the fatty acids animals cannot make, such as fattyacids having double bonds. Most diets furnish ample qualities of essential fatty acids.VitaminsVitaminsVitaminsVitamins: organic molecules required in the diet in amounts that are small compared with therelatively large quantities of essential amino acids and fatty acids. So far, 13 vitamins havebeen determined to be essential to humans.MineralsMineralsMineralsMinerals: simple organic nutrients usually required in small amounts. Humans and vertebratesrequire relatively large amounts of calcium and phosphorus for maintaining bones. Otherminerals serve as cofactors for certain enzymes. Water-soluble vitamins include the B complexand Vitamin C. Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K.Food Types and Feeding MechanismsAnimals generally fit into one of three dietary categories. HerbivoresHerbivoresHerbivoresHerbivores mainly eat autotrophs, whilecarnivorescarnivorescarnivorescarnivores eat other animals. OmnivoresOmnivoresOmnivoresOmnivores regularly consume animals as well as plants. These termsrepresent the kinds of food an animal usually eats and their adaptations for obtaining and processingthat food. However, most animals will eat foods outside their dietary category when available.Many aquatic animals are suspensionsuspensionsuspensionsuspension----feedersfeedersfeedersfeeders that sift small food particles from the water.SubstrateSubstrateSubstrateSubstrate----feedersfeedersfeedersfeeders live in or on their food source, eating their way through the food, such as maggots.Earthworms are a specific type of substrate-feeder – depositdepositdepositdeposit----feedersfeedersfeedersfeeders, which eat their way throughthe dirt, salvaging partially decayed organic material along with soil. FluidFluidFluidFluid----feedersfeedersfeedersfeeders suck nutrient-richfluids from a living host. Most animals are bulkbulkbulkbulk----feedersfeedersfeedersfeeders that eat relatively large pieces of food.Overview of Food ProcessingIngestionIngestionIngestionIngestion, the act of eating, is the first stage of food processing. Nearly all animals consume foodpackaged in bulk form, containing complex arrays of molecules that may be difficult to process.