The herbivore depends primarily on roughages. No cell wall material of roughages is subject to hydrolysis by mammalian glandular digestive enzymes. The herbivore uses fermentative digestion to break down cell wall material by the action of bacteria and other microorganisms. In the omnivore and the carnivore, fermentative digestion also occurs in the large intestine for carbohydrates and proteins that are not digested by mammalian enzymes in the small intestine.
More information on fermentation and nutrient absorption in the ruminant forestomachs, and in the hindgut of the horse, the pig, and the fowl is provided in the article, ''Digesta Processing and Fermentation,'' elsewhere in this encyclopedia.
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