Difference between Pseudo Ruminant and Ruminant Systems

Animals have different food habits, and they therefore require different digestive systems for chewing and absorption of nutrients. There are four types of digestive systems found: Monogastric, Avian, Ruminant and Pseudo Ruminant.

  • Monogastric System: This type of digestive system consists of one simple stomach. It secretes gastric juice that creates a pH between 1-2 that destroys bacteria and directly starts digestion. The animals with a monogastric system eat foods that are high in energy and low in fibre, such as wheat, maize, corn and barley. This type of food is easy to digest. Examples of monogastric animals include dogs, cats and humans.
  • Avian System: The avian type of digestive system is found in poultry and birds. They do not have any teeth for chewing, so the food is broken down into smaller pieces and directly absorbed. The food is taken up by the bird that is stored in the crop. From the crop the food is transferred to proventriculus where gastric juices are secreted. From there, the food moves to a muscular organ called gizzard that contains stones and grit for breaking the food into small pieces. The food is then absorbed in the small and large intestine. The unabsorbed food particles are sent to the cloaca.

Digestion in the avian system is very quick.

Let us now look at pseudo ruminant and ruminant digestive systems in detail, and also differentiate between them.

Ruminant Systems

A ruminant digestive system is a complex and structured digestive system commonly seen in cows, goats and sheep. The stomach of pseudo ruminants are divided into four compartments namely, reticulum, abomasum, omasum and rumen.

The Digestive Process

  • The digestion in ruminants follows a sequential process where each compartment plays an important role.
  • The food material is first taken up by the animal that lands into two chambers, reticulum and rumen. These two compartments work together and are referred to as reticulorumen.
  • In the reticulorumen, the solids and liquids are separated. The solids are pushed into the rumen and the liquids into the reticulum. The rumen have microbes that break down the solid food materials.
  • The reticulorumen is considered the fermentation vent of the animals where the maximum microbial activity takes place. The solid food is clumped to form a cud.
  • The cud is then regurgitated later, and again chewed to break down into smaller pieces. This is the reason why cows keep chewing all the time because they chew the regurgitated cud.
  • The liquid from the reticulum and the rechewed cud is passed onto the omasum where volatile fatty acids are absorbed.
  • The abomasum, also called the true stomach, is the next destination for the liquid and cud, and then it is passed on to the intestines.

The whole digestion and nutrient absorption process is time taking. The ruminants eat food that are rich in cellulose and roughage such as plant materials. The ruminants are majorly herbivorous in nature. Other examples of pseudo ruminants include giraffe, deer, cattle, and antelopes.

Pseudo Ruminant Systems

The pseudo ruminant system is almost similar to the ruminant system except they have a three-chambered stomach or a monogastric stomach. They also eat food that is rich in roughage. However, pseudo ruminants are not necessarily herbivorous, they consume all kinds of foods. The microbial digestion takes place in the intestine and cecum.

Examples of pseudo ruminants include horses, hippopotamus, rabbits and guinea pigs. Animals like hippopotamus and camels have a three chambered stomach while zebras, horses and rhinoceros have a simple monogastric stomach.

Pseudo Ruminant vs Ruminant Systems

Ruminant System

Pseudo Ruminant System


Ruminant digestive system is found in animals that have four compartments in their stomach.

Pseudo ruminant digestive system is found in animals that do not have four compartments in their stomach.

Number of Compartments


The stomach can be either three-chambered or a simple monogastric stomach.

Eating Habits of the Animal

The animals are mostly herbivorous.

The animals consume all types of food.

Absorption of Nutrients

The absorption of nutrients in the ruminant digestive system is higher because the food is again chewed.

The absorption of nutrients in the pseudo digestive system is less as compared to the ruminant digestive system.

Fermentation of Food

The fermentation of food takes place in the rumen, i.e., the midgut.

The fermentation of food takes place mostly in the intestines, i.e., the hindgut.


Cow, goat, sheep, giraffe and deer.

Horse, zebra, rhinoceros and hippopotamus.

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Also Read:

Frequently Asked Questions on Difference between Pseudo Ruminant and Ruminant Systems


What is the major difference between monogastrics and ruminants?

The main difference between monogastric ruminant organisms is that monogastrics have a single compartment in their stomach, whereas the ruminants have four divisions in their stomach.


What is the difference between monogastric and polygastric?

As the name suggests, monogastrics have a single compartment in their stomach and polygastrics have multiple compartments in their stomach.


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