Feeding Habits And Size

Ruminants range in size from the pygmy Royal antelope, Neotragus pygmaeus, at 1 3 kg and only 25 cm

(10 inches) at the shoulder, to the giraffe. A large male giraffe can be 5.5 meters (18 ft) tall and weigh 1000 kg. Body size is related to feeding behavior and digestive capacity.[1] Feeding habits (Table 2) of herbivores are classified into selectors: intermediate browsers, intermediate grazers, grazers, and bulk and roughage eaters.[4] The smaller ruminants lack digestive capacity for the slower-digesting grasses, and avoid lower-quality feed by selection of better parts. The very small antelope are largely forest dwellers and live on fruit and leaves. Browsing is selective feeding on bushes and trees. The term intermediate indicates some ability to move between browsing and grazing. The goat is an excellent example of versatility on feeding adaptation, and uses selectivity in both grazing (grass) and browsing. All of the selectors have narrow muzzles, and many have prehensile tongues that aid selection. The bulk and roughage eaters including cattle, buffalo, and some of the larger antelope have wider muzzles to facilitate grazing but are less efficient in selection.

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