Particle retention in the forestomach of a browsing ruminant, the roe deerCapreolus capreolus
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A combination of a flotation/sedimentation experiment and sieve analysis for the reticulorumen (RR) contents of roe deerCapreolus capreolus Linnaeus, 1758, a browsing ruminant, showed that there was no correlation between particle size and particle density. Large particles were present in both the sedimented and the buoyant fraction, which is in accord with the reported absence of stratification of RR contents in browsing ruminants. Comparative sieve analysis of roe deer RR and caecal/rectal material demonstrated that there must be some selective particle retention in the browsing ruminant as well, as a certain fraction of large particles in RR contents does not occur in the caecal/rectal material. These results lead to the explanatory dilemma that, while selective particle retention is observed, it cannot be due to the mechanisms known to work in grazing ruminants.
Key wordsCapreolus capreolus forestomach digestive physiology retention mechanism
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