The process by which food is converted into substances that can be absorbed and assimilated by the body. Mechanical & chemical breakdown of food into nutrients are called digestion.
Four main macromolecules in food: nucleic acids, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are broken down into smaller molecules of nucleotides, amino acids, fatty acids and glycerol, and simple sugars. Being absorbed important minerals, vitamins, and water are also extract from food during the process of digestion.
Biologists categorize animals into three groups based on their food source.
- Herbivores obtain all food from plants. Examples: cows, horses, and nearly all rodents.
- Carnivores obtain all food from meat. Examples: cats, eagles, wolves, and frogs.
- Omnivores obtain food from both plants and meat.