Ruminant - a cud-chewing herbivore that has mutualistic microbes in its gut.
Mutualism - the close association of two different organisms of two different species in which both benefit.
Ruminants cannot produce cellulase, and therefore cannot digest cellulose, which makes up a high proportion of their diet. They instead rely on mutualistic microbes in their gut to secrete digestive enzymes. These include bacteria, fungi and protoctista, found in the rumen.
Cellulose digestion occurs as follows:
1. The grass is chewed and mixed with saliva to form the cud.
2. The cud passes down the oesophagus into the rumen. which contains mutualistic microbes…