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The effect of the rumen washing mechanism in sheep differs with concentration and size of abrasive particles


Hatt, Jean-Michel; Codron, Daryl; Ackermans, Nicole L; Martin, Louise F; Richter, Henning; Kircher, Patrick R; Gerspach, Christian; Hummel, Jürgen; Clauss, Marcus (2020). The effect of the rumen washing mechanism in sheep differs with concentration and size of abrasive particles. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 550:109728.

Abstract

Measures of tooth wear have widespread use as proxies in palaeobiological reconstructions. In order to applythese proxies, an understanding of potential influence factors on wear is important. The processes during thedigestion in the ruminant organism lead, possibly inadvertently, to a washing of material before it is regurgitatedfor rumination chewing. Therefore, ruminants might experience less tooth wear from external abrasives such asdust and grit, which can be washed off, compared to nonruminant herbivores. Details of the washing mechanism,including its efficiency in relation to abrasive size, have not been explored so far. Here, we describe the locationand quantity of external abrasives in the gastrointestinal tract of sheep fed seven diets containing external silicaabrasives varying in concentration (0, 4, and 8%) and size (4, 50, and 130μm). As typical for ruminants, externalabrasives accumulated mainly in the fourth stomach section, the abomasum. Compared to the diet, the dorsalrumen contents–from where material for regurgitation and rumination is recruited–were depleted of externalabrasives for the 130μm silicates, and for the 8% concentration of 50μm silicates, but not for the 4μm silicatesor the 4% concentration of 50μm silicates. These results suggest that the rumen washing mechanism is probablymore protective against abrasion from grit and sand, and potentially less efficient againstfine dust.

Abstract

Measures of tooth wear have widespread use as proxies in palaeobiological reconstructions. In order to applythese proxies, an understanding of potential influence factors on wear is important. The processes during thedigestion in the ruminant organism lead, possibly inadvertently, to a washing of material before it is regurgitatedfor rumination chewing. Therefore, ruminants might experience less tooth wear from external abrasives such asdust and grit, which can be washed off, compared to nonruminant herbivores. Details of the washing mechanism,including its efficiency in relation to abrasive size, have not been explored so far. Here, we describe the locationand quantity of external abrasives in the gastrointestinal tract of sheep fed seven diets containing external silicaabrasives varying in concentration (0, 4, and 8%) and size (4, 50, and 130μm). As typical for ruminants, externalabrasives accumulated mainly in the fourth stomach section, the abomasum. Compared to the diet, the dorsalrumen contents–from where material for regurgitation and rumination is recruited–were depleted of externalabrasives for the 130μm silicates, and for the 8% concentration of 50μm silicates, but not for the 4μm silicatesor the 4% concentration of 50μm silicates. These results suggest that the rumen washing mechanism is probablymore protective against abrasion from grit and sand, and potentially less efficient againstfine dust.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Clinical Diagnostics and Services
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > Oceanography
Life Sciences > Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Physical Sciences > Earth-Surface Processes
Physical Sciences > Paleontology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Earth-Surface Processes, Palaeontology, Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics, Oceanography
Language:English
Date:1 April 2020
Deposited On:16 Apr 2020 15:13
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 15:01
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0031-0182
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2020.109728
Project Information:
  • : FunderSwiss National Science Foundation
  • : Grant ID31003A_163300/1
  • : Project Title

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