Q:

What is a pseudo-ruminant?

A:

A pseudo-ruminant is an animal with a three-chamber stomach. Camels, llamas, alpacas and vicuñas belong to this group of animals. The extra stomach chambers are used to ferment the tough vegetable matter that makes up the pseudo-ruminant diet.

Pseudo-ruminants belong to the order artiodactyla. This group of animals includes all herbivores with cloven hooves. Other subgroups of the artiodactyla order include the ruminants, which have four-chamber stomachs that use a more complex digestion process than the pseudo-ruminants, and the non-ruminants, which have specially formed teeth to more thoroughly grind food paired with single-chamber stomachs. Ruminants include cattle, goats, antelope and deer. Non-ruminant artiodactyla include pigs and peccaries.

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