Layers of the Alimentary Canal

Layers of the Alimentary Canal

Author: Aaron Mullally

This lesson will describe the structure, including the four layers, of the digestive tract.

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Terms to Know
  • Digestive Tract

    Technically is called the alimentary canal, the digestive tract consists of the organs that perform the main functions of the digestive system: ingestion, digestion, absorption, and excretion. The organs of the digestive tract are the: mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon (large intestine), rectum and anus.

  • Lumen

    The name used to describe the hollow part of a hollow/tubular organ.

  • Mucosa

    The mucous membranes of the alimentary canal, this is the layer of tissue of the alimentary canal that is in direct contact with its lumen.

  • Serosa

    The outermost layer of tissue of the alimentary canal that produces and secretes a watery secretion to reduce friction while digestive organs are moving.

  • Smooth Muscle

    The tissue layer of the alimentary canal that controls its muscular movements, also called the muscularis.

  • Sphincters

    Sphincters are muscles that control the openings between organs; sphincters control what enters and exits various organs.

  • Submucosa

    The layer of tissue just below the mucosa, the submucosa contains glands that secrete onto the mucosa and well as capillaries and lymph vessels.