ruminant


ruminant
ruminantly, adv.
/rooh"meuh neuhnt/, n.
1. any even-toed, hoofed mammal of the suborder Ruminantia, being comprised of cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing quadrupeds, and including, besides domestic cattle, bison, buffalo, deer, antelopes, giraffes, camels, and chevrotains.
adj.
2. ruminating; chewing the cud.
3. contemplative; meditative: a ruminant scholar.
[1655-65; < L ruminant- (s. of ruminans, prp. of ruminari, ruminare to chew cud, meditate), equiv. to rumin- (s. of rumen) RUMEN + -ant- -ANT]

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Most ruminants have a four-chambered stomach, two-toed feet, and small or absent upper incisors. Camels and chevrotains have three-chambered stomachs. Ruminants eat quickly, storing masses of grass (grazers) or foliage (browsers) in the first stomach chamber, the rumen, where it softens. They later regurgitate the material, called cud, and chew it again to break down the undigestible cellulose. The chewed cud goes directly to the other chambers, where various microorganisms help in its digestion.

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▪ suborder of mammals
  any mammal of the suborder Ruminantia (order Artiodactyla), which includes the pronghorns, giraffes, okapis, deer, chevrotains, cattle, antelopes, sheep, and goats. Most ruminants have four-chambered stomachs and a two-toed foot. The upper incisors are reduced or sometimes absent. Camels and chevrotains, however, have a three-chambered stomach. Ruminants eat quickly, storing masses of grass or foliage in the first chamber of the stomach, the rumen, where it softens. They later regurgitate this material, called cud, and chew it again to further break down its cellulose content, which is difficult to digest. The chewed cud goes directly to the other chambers of the stomach (the reticulum, omasum, and abomasum), where it is further digested with the aid of various essential microorganisms that live in the stomach.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ruminant — ruminant, ante [ ryminɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. et n. m. • 1555; de ruminer ♦ Qui rumine. Herbivore ruminant. ♢ N. m. (1680) Un ruminant : un animal ruminant. LES RUMINANTS : groupe de mammifères artiodactyles à deux doigts, dont l estomac complexe permet… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Ruminant — Ru mi*nant, a. [L. ruminans, antis, p. pr.: cf. F. ruminant. See {Ruminate}.] (Zo[ o]l.) Chewing the cud; characterized by chewing again what has been swallowed; of or pertaining to the Ruminantia. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ruminant — Ru mi*nant, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A ruminant animal; one of the Ruminantia. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • ruminant — ► NOUN ▪ a mammal of a type that chews the cud, comprising cattle, sheep, antelopes, deer, giraffes, and their relatives. ► ADJECTIVE ▪ relating to ruminants. ORIGIN from Latin ruminari chew over again , from rumen throat, first stomach of a… …   English terms dictionary

  • ruminant — index cogitative, pensive Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • ruminant — ruminant, ante (ru mi nan, nan t ) adj. Terme d histoire naturelle. Qui rumine. Les animaux ruminants.    S. m. Les ruminants, famille de mammifères comprenant ceux qui ont les membres en colonnes, terminés par des sabots, avec ou sans semelle… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • ruminant — (n.) 1660s, from L. ruminantem (nom. ruminans), prp. of ruminare to chew the cud (see RUMINATE (Cf. ruminate)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ruminant — [ro͞o′mə nənt] adj. [L ruminans, prp. of L ruminare, to ruminate < rumen,RUMEN] 1. chewing the cud 2. of the cud chewing animals 3. meditative; thoughtful n. any of the suborders (Ruminantia and Tylopoda) of four footed, cud chewing… …   English World dictionary

  • Ruminant — Ruminants Rough illustration of a ruminant digestive system Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia …   Wikipedia

  • Ruminant — Ruminantia Ruminants …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ruminant — I. noun Date: 1661 a ruminant mammal II. adjective Date: 1691 1. a. (1) chewing the cud (2) characterized by chewing again what has been swallowed b. of or relating to two suborders (Ruminantia and Tylopoda) of herbivorous even toed hoofed… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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