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First portion of the alimentary canal that receives food / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The mouth is the body orifice through which many animals ingest food and vocalize. The body cavity immediately behind the mouth opening, known as the oral cavity (or cavum oris in Latin),[1] is also the first part of the alimentary canal which leads to the pharynx and the gullet. In tetrapod vertebrates, the mouth is bounded on the outside by the lips and cheeks — thus the oral cavity is also known as the buccal cavity (from Latin bucca, meaning "cheek")[2] — and contains the tongue on the inside. Except for some groups like birds and lissamphibians, vertebrates usually have teeth in their mouths,[3] although some fish species have pharyngeal teeth instead of oral teeth.

A freshwater crocodile at Basel Zoo in Switzerland

Most bilaterian phyla, including arthropods, molluscs and chordates, have a two-opening gut tube with a mouth at one end and an anus at the other. Which end forms first in ontogeny is a criterion used to classify bilaterian animals into protostomes and deuterostomes.

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