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, 125 (1), 82-84

A Decade Since "Diversification of Ruminants": Has Our Knowledge Improved?


A Decade Since "Diversification of Ruminants": Has Our Knowledge Improved?

S S Ditchkoff. Oecologia.


In his landmark 1989 paper, R.R. Hofmann classified ruminants into three categories based upon digestive anatomy and preferred forages, and proposed that divergence of feeding strategies among ruminants is a result of morphological evolution of the digestive tract. Because of the hypothetical nature of these views and the ingrained beliefs that they challenged, several papers were published that reported tests of Hofmann's predictions. The consensus among these papers was that Hofmann's predictions were inadequate. I describe the experimental evidence that has been put forth in opposition to the ruminant diversification hypothesis and contend that we have failed to adequately test Hofmann's predictions.

Keywords: Intermediate feeders; Key words Concentrate selectors; Roughage eaters; Rumen bypass; Ruminant diversification.

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