Ruminants

Digestive System

What is rumination?

Animals that ruminate and do rumination are called ruminants. These animals have four compartments in their stomach instead of only one like humans. The largest of the four compartments is the rumen, which is also the main digestion center. After partially chewing grass, the grass travels down to the rumen. The rumen is full of microorganisms that can break down grass and other vegetation that animals with one compartment cannot digest. This grass is broken down into balls of cud. The cud is later returned to the mouth of ruminants for further chewing. The cud is then swallowed once again and enters the other three compartments: the reticulum, the omasum, and the abomasum, which could be called the actual stomach. By doing so, the ingested material ends up being fully digested by the animal.

Can ruminants vomit?

In a ruminant, vomit would come out of the fourth stomach (abomasum), bypass the third stomach (omasum), and go into the first (rumen) and second (reticulum) ones. However, it’s extremely rare for the vomit to go any further than that. Therefore ruminants can vomit, but it rarely comes out of their mouths.

Some Ruminant Animals

RUMINANTS ARE AWESOME BECAUSE THEY CAN DIGEST A GREAT AMOUNT OF CEREAL CROPS THAT HUMANS CAN'T.

How do ruminants contribute to global warming?

Domestic ruminant animals are one of the important sources of methane. They contribute 23% of the total anthropogenic annual methane production, being the second largest source after fossil fuels. Almost two thirds of total methane production by domestic ruminants can be attributed to cattle. The rest is shared by goats, sheep, buffaloes, etc.

Sources

Sheep 101: Ruminants. (n.d.). Retrieved February 9, 2016, from http://www.sheep101.info/cud.html

A. J. (2013, December 20). Want To Stop Global Warming? Stop Eating Meat: Reducing Methane-Producing 'Ruminant' Population Will Abate Climate Change. Retrieved February 11, 2016, from http://www.isciencetimes.com/articles/6552/20131220/global-warming-eating-meat-beef-cattle-cows-methane-ruminant-climate-change-greenhouse-gas.htm