How is the process of digestion in humans different from that in ruminants?

Human Digestion

Ruminant Digestion

Human has only one stomach.

Ruminants have four chambered stomach.

Digestion process is simple.

Highly complex digestion process.

Regurgitation does not occur.

Regurgitation takes place at rest.

Both meat and plants are digested.

Only plants are digested.

Protein is obtained from meat and other variety of foods.

Ruminant bacteria supply protein required for the body.

Cellulose cannot be digested.

Cellulose can easily be digested.

Efficient in animal protein digestion.

Not efficient in digestion of animal protein.


  • 20

Cows have a digestive system that enables them to eat and digest plant matter (fibre, cellulose, hemicellulose, starches, etc.)
Cows are ruminants, which means they have one large stomach with four compartments that enable coarse plant matter to be digested and broken down in four steps, starting in the reticulum, which collects hardware and other things that cannot be digested or passed through the animal, followed by the rumen, which is a fermentation vat that breaks down fibrous material with the work done by microflora. The omasum absorbs the excess "water" from the digested material, and then further digested by the abomasum, with enzymes to digest proteins and starches.

Humans are monogastrics, which only have one stomach with one compartment. Enzymes or peptides are designed to help break down proteins and starches, but not fibre or cellulose. Proteins stay in the stomach longer because they are being broken down more efficiently.

  • 6

Animal first swallow then chew but humans first chew the food the swallow it.

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