The bacteria of the rumen

Herbivores cannot directly absorb the vegetables they feed on, but they can through the action of the bacteria that colonise their digestive apparatus. Cattle chew vegetables for a long time and accumulate them in large amounts in the rumen, which is the first part of their stomach. In this hot, very humid place, bacteria quickly develop and attack the vegetal fibres. In so doing, the bacteria release the nutrients contained in these vegetables, which are then absorbed by the intestine. Horses do not have a rumen, but they host these precious bacteria in their long intestine.

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    Bacteria as miners

    The ability of chemoautotrophic bacteria to take energy from...

  • Bacteria as Sherlock Holmes

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    High-fashion bacteria

    Some bacteria, the Clostridia, were used to make textile fibres...

  • Down-pouring bacteria

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    Bio-luminescence

    Many sea animals, including a lot of fish and molluscs that live in the dark in the ocean depths...