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Ruminants and Rodents

The stomach of a ruminant has four chambers. Because of the microbial action in the chambers, the diet from which a ruminant actually absorbs its nutrients is much richer than the grass the animal originally ate. In fact, a ruminant eating grass or hay obtains many of its nutrients by digesting the symbiotic microorganisms, which reproduce rapidly enough in the rumen to maintain a stable population. The chewed food is passed --> rumen --> cellulose, broken down (enzyme cellulase produced by microbes). Food enters reticulum (undergoes further hydrolysis). The food now is called cud --> regurgitate bit by bit into mouth --> then rechewed Reswallow into omasum. Food --> further broken down into smaller pieces (peristalsis) Food particles move into abomasum (the true stomach). Gastric juices contain digestive enzymes complete the digestion of proteins and other food substances. The food --> small intestine --> digested & absorbed.

Rodent large caecum and appendix shelter for bacteria produce enzyme cellulase Rodent chews food pass through alimentary canal broken down by cellulase produced by bacteria Soft and watery faeces produced at night Rodent eats again the faeces repeat the breakdown process digested products are absorbed Defecation during the day faeces harder and drier Similarities Both do not produce cellulase on their own to digest cellulose. They depend on cellulaseproducing microbes for digestion. They swallow food twice.