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Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Unity and Diversity o...

15th Edition
Cecie Starr + 3 others
ISBN: 9781337408332
Textbook Problem
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Although rabbits cannot break cellulose down into simple sugars, the bacteria that live in their cecum can. However, for a rabbit to make use of the nutrients released by bacterial action, it must eat its feces. Why is this second round of ingestion necessary?

Summary Introduction

To determine: The requirement of second round of ingestion of its own feces seen among rabbits.

Concept introduction: In rabbits, cecum plays an important role in digesting foods. Rabbit’s cecum has more digestive capacity than their stomach. A massive quantity of microorganisms especially bacteria resides in their cecum. Bacteria can ferment or digest the indigestible materials present in the cecum. This could be an example for mutual association between the rabbit and the beneficial gut bacterium.

Explanation
Like most mammals, initial stages of digestion in rabbit take place in the stomach. But some of the indigestible materials (fiber) move to the intestine where plenty of beneficial bacterias will be present. These bacteria help to break down the digestible fiber and release the nutrient. The cells present in the cecum could absorb some nutrients, and most of the other nutrients need to get back to the small intestine...

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