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Physical characteristics of rumen contents in four large ruminants of different feeding type, the addax (Addax nasomaculatus), bison (Bison bison), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces)


Clauss, Marcus; Fritz, J; Bayer, D; Nygren, K; Hammer, S; Hatt, J M; Südekum, K H; Hummel, J (2009). Physical characteristics of rumen contents in four large ruminants of different feeding type, the addax (Addax nasomaculatus), bison (Bison bison), red deer (Cervus elaphus) and moose (Alces alces). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 152(3):398-406.

Abstract

Based on morphological and physiological observations, it has been suggested that differences exist in the degree that reticuloruminal (RR) contents are stratified have been suspected between various ruminant species. However, the occurrence of stratification has hardly been measured in non-domestic species. Forestomach contents of free-ranging moose (n=22) and red deer (24) shot during regular hunting procedures, and of captive (but 100% forage fed) addax (6) and bison (10) culled for commercial or management purposes were investigated. There was no difference between the species in the degree by which RR ingesta separated according to size due to buoyancy characteristics in vitro. However, RR fluid of moose was more viscous than that of the other species, and no difference in moisture content was evident between the dorsal and the ventral rumen in moose, in contrast to the other species. Hence, the RR milieu in moose appears less favourable for gas or particle separation due to buoyancy characteristics. These findings are in accord with notable differences in RR papillation between the species. In moose, particle separation is most likely restricted to the reticulum, whereas in the other species, the whole rumen may pre-sort particles in varying degrees; a possible explanation for this pattern is a hypothetically lesser saliva production and fluid throughput in moose. The results suggest that differences in RR physiology may occur across ruminant species. However, RR contents stratification probably has to be considered a dynamic process that is best measured by its result – the significantly smaller particle size in the distal digestive tract when compared to the RR – than by regional differences in particle size within the RR.

Abstract

Based on morphological and physiological observations, it has been suggested that differences exist in the degree that reticuloruminal (RR) contents are stratified have been suspected between various ruminant species. However, the occurrence of stratification has hardly been measured in non-domestic species. Forestomach contents of free-ranging moose (n=22) and red deer (24) shot during regular hunting procedures, and of captive (but 100% forage fed) addax (6) and bison (10) culled for commercial or management purposes were investigated. There was no difference between the species in the degree by which RR ingesta separated according to size due to buoyancy characteristics in vitro. However, RR fluid of moose was more viscous than that of the other species, and no difference in moisture content was evident between the dorsal and the ventral rumen in moose, in contrast to the other species. Hence, the RR milieu in moose appears less favourable for gas or particle separation due to buoyancy characteristics. These findings are in accord with notable differences in RR papillation between the species. In moose, particle separation is most likely restricted to the reticulum, whereas in the other species, the whole rumen may pre-sort particles in varying degrees; a possible explanation for this pattern is a hypothetically lesser saliva production and fluid throughput in moose. The results suggest that differences in RR physiology may occur across ruminant species. However, RR contents stratification probably has to be considered a dynamic process that is best measured by its result – the significantly smaller particle size in the distal digestive tract when compared to the RR – than by regional differences in particle size within the RR.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Uncontrolled Keywords:Stratification; Rumen physiology; Particle retention; Particle size; Viscosity
Language:English
Date:2009
Deposited On:12 Mar 2009 15:43
Last Modified:03 Dec 2016 08:43
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1095-6433
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.11.009
PubMed ID:19049897

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