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ruminant

ruminant, any of a group of hooved mammals that chew their cud, i.e., that regurgitate and chew again food that has already been swallowed. Ruminants have an even number of toes on each foot and a stomach with either three or four chambers. In the first chamber, called the rumen, the food is mixed with fluid to form a soft mass, the cud, or bolus. The regurgitated cud, after having been slowly chewed, is swallowed again, and passes through the rumen into the other stomach chambers for further digestion. The group, a suborder of the mammalian order Artiodactyla, includes goats, sheep, cows, camels, and antelope.

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ruminant

ruminant Animals such as the cow, sheep, and goat, which possess four stomachs, as distinct from monogastric animals, such as man, pig, dog, and rat. The four are: the rumen, or first stomach, where bacterial fermentation produces volatile fatty acids, and whence the food is returned to the mouth for further mastication (chewing the cud); the reticulum, where further bacterial fermentation produces volatile fatty acids; the omasum; and the abomasum or true stomach. The bacterial fermentation allows ruminants to obtain nourishment from grass and hay which cannot be digested by monogastric animals.

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ruminant

ru·mi·nant / ˈroōmənənt/ • n. 1. an even-toed ungulate mammal (suborder Ruminantia, order Artiodactyla) that chews the cud regurgitated from its rumen. The ruminants comprise the cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives. 2. a contemplative person; a person given to meditation. • adj. of or belonging to ruminants.

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ruminant

ruminant Cud-chewing, even-toed, hoofed mammal. They include the okapi, chevrotain, deer, giraffe, antelope, cattle, sheep, and goat. All except the chevrotain have four-chambered stomachs, and they are known for re-chewing food previously swallowed and stored in one of the chambers.

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ruminant

ruminant See RUMINANTIA.

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ruminant

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