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Anatomy of the Digestive System (cont.)

Esophagus

Once food is swallowed, it enters the esophagus, a muscular tube that is about 10 inches long. The esophagus is located between the throat and the stomach. Muscular wavelike contractions known as peristalsis push the food down through the esophagus to the stomach. A muscular ring (cardiac sphincter) at the end of the esophagus allows food to enter the stomach, and, then, it squeezes shut to prevent food and fluid from going back up the esophagus.

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