The Freshwater Drum Digestive System
By: Thomas H. Reynolds

1. Gill Filaments
2. Gill Arch
3. Gill Rakers

1. Modified fifth pharyngeal arch
2. Molariform Teeth
3. Tongue

1. Pericardial Cavity
2. Transverse Septum
3. Heart
4. Liver
5. Pyloric Caeca

1. Ovary (with eggs)
2. Rectum
3. Intestine
4. Transverse Septum
5. Spleen
6. Stomach

1. Stomach
2. Stomach Contents
3. Spleen
4. Pyloric Caeca
5. Intestine

1. Esophagus
2. Pyloric Caeca
3. Stomach
4. Duodenum
5. Spleen
6. Rectum
7. Anus
8. Intestine

1. Ovary (with Eggs)
2. Kidney
3. Air Bladder
4. Oviduct

    The digestive system of the freshwater drum includes an area in its pharynx that aids in grinding or "chewing" its food.  This area is actually a modified fifth pharyngeal arch that has molariform teeth (Etnier and Starnes 1993). The esophagus is very short in the freshwater drum. The esophagus is the passageway for food entrance into the stomach where chemical breakdown of food occurs. After leaving the stomach the food enters the pyloric caeca which is the primary place that digestion and absorption of food occurs in fishes (Kardong 2002). The food then enters the duodenum, then small intestine, and then the large intestine where further digestion and water absorption occurs. Last the digested food enters the rectum which is a temporary holding area and then finally leaves the body of the fish through the anus found in the cloaca.


 The Freshwater Drum Musculature System


© 2002 Thomas H. Reynolds and Justin Kane