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Describe the difference between ruminants and non-ruminants digestive system.

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RuminantsNon - Ruminants
 chew the cud Doesn’t chew the cud
 have four stomach chambers – thus polygastric Have one stomach chamber – thus monogastric
 Regurgitate foodCannot regurgitate food once swallowed. 
 Can digest cellulose.
Have micro - organisms in the rumen that digest cellulose.
Have no micro-organisms in the stomach hence
cannot digest cellulose except those animals with
micro-organisms in the ceacum
 Have no ptyalin in saliva hence
no enzymatic digestion in the mouth.
Have ptyalin in the saliva hence enzymatic
digestion begins in the mouth
 Most digestion and absorption
takes place in the rumen.
Most digestion and absorption takes place
in the small intestines
Have alkaline saliva due to presence of ammonia.


The saliva is neutral in PH.

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