[L.] The power of dissolving and distributing food over the body. All vertebrates have a mouth, which is generally furnished with teeth. The food is mostly cut and divided in the mouth and mixed with saliva, after which it is swallowed and digested in the stomach (q.v.) by gastric juice, and in the intestines by bile and pancreatic juice, the nutritious portions being absorbed in the blood. In shell-fish, after food is crushed by hard plates in the stomach and mixed with saliva, it passes into a long intestine, where the nutritious parts are absorbed into the blood. Insects pass the food into a crop and then into a gizzard, where it is crushed and passed into the true stomach and intestines.