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Blesbok and eland at Witsand

20 June 2013

This video was recorded in the late afternoon at Witsand waterhole and shows an eland cow that is licking at a block of salt near the waterhole while other eland lie on the ground. The eland at the salt later walks away while it is clearly ruminating. It is replaced at the salt by the other eland. Warthogs are also grazing the short gras near the waterhole while some blesbok are visible in the background before one of them approaches the waterhole but suddenly shies away. Rumination occurs in all the ruminant herbivores because they first ingest their food without chewing it. This food then ends up in the rumen, the first and largest of four compartments of the stomach of a ruminant – the other compartments are the abomasum, omasum and reticulum. The food is then regurgitated and masticated thoroughly before it is swallowed for further digestion.

Reference:

Van Hoven, W. 2010. Digestion in a herbivore. In J du P Bothma & J G du Toit (reds), Game ranch management, fith edition. Pretoria: Van Schaik, pp 367 -373.

Video interpreted by Prof J du P Bothma.

 

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