- The small intestine is about 20 feet long.
- The small intestine absorbs nutrients from food and water.
- The large intestine is about 5 feet long.
- The large intestine absorbs water from wastes, creating stool.
Image of the intestine captured with a digital biological microscope showing the intestinal villi. Villi increase the surface area of the intestinal wall, allowing for greater absorption of digested nutrients. The increased surface area of the intestine decreases the average distance traveled by nutrient molecules. Circulating blood then carries these nutrients away.