Encyclopedia > Ruminant

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A ruminant is any hooved[?] animal that digests its food in two steps, first by eating the raw material and regurgitating a semi-digested form known as cud, then eating the cud.

Ruminants have a stomach with either three or four chambers. In the first chamber, called the rumen, the food is mixed with bile to form the cud (or bolus). The cud is then regurgitated, chewed slowly to completely mix it with the bile, and then re-swallowed. The cud then passes through the rumen into the other stomach chambers for complete digestion.

Ruminants also share another anatomical feature in that they all have an even number of toes. Ruminants include cows, goats, sheep, camels[?], and antelope.

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