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Ruminant

A ruminant is a mammal with a four-compartmented stomach which enables it to acquire nutrients from plant-based food such as grasses, husks, and stalks. Examples of ruminants include cattle, sheep, goats, deer, giraffes, and camels. After swallowing, microbes in the ruminant’s rumen (its first stomach compartment) begin fermenting the food. This process generates fatty acids (nutrients which the ruminant absorbs through its rumen walls) and methane, which the ruminant eructs or burps. Through this process, ruminants are able to digest coarse cellulosic material which monogastrics and people cannot. Methane emissions from ruminants are a significant source of greenhouse gasses from ruminant-based livestock systems.