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Are there phylogenetic differences in salivary tannin-binding proteins between browsers and grazers, and ruminants and hindgut fermenters?

While feeding, mammalian browsers (primarily eat woody plants) encounter secondary metabolites such as tannins. Browsers may bind these tannins using salivary proteins, whereas mammalian grazers (primarily eat grasses that generally lack tannins) likely would not. Ruminant browsers rechew their food (ruminate) to increase the effectiveness of digestion, which may make them more effective at binding tannins than nonruminants. Few studies have included a sufficient number of species to consider possible scaling with body mass or phylogenetic effects on salivary proteins.

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Observations and perceptions of veterinarians and farmers on heartwater distribution, occurrence and associated factors in South Africa

Background: There is currently no scientific evidence regarding the current climatic or other epidemiological factors that could influence the occurrence of heartwater in South Africa. Objectives: The objective was to determine whether climatic changes or other epidemiological factors influence the occurrence of heartwater in South Africa. Method: A survey was conducted to scrutinise these factors using both veterinarians and farmers working in known areas in which heartwater had previously been confirmed to establish the value of each of these factors.

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Does tooth wear influence ageing? A comparative study across large herbivores

We test whether the intensity of tooth wear influences the strength of actuarial senescence across species of large herbivores. We collected from the literature data on tooth wear in the wild (measured as the slope of the regression of log-transformed M1 crown height on age), longevity (measured as the age at which 90% of individuals are dead) and two metrics of actuarial senescence in captive populations (rate of senescence between 6 and 12 years of age and Gompertz rate of

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Dietary innovations spurred the diversification of ruminants during the Caenozoic

Global climate shifts and ecological flexibility are two major factors that may affect rates of speciation and extinction across clades. Here, we connect past climate to changes in diet and diversification dynamics of ruminant mammals. Using novel versions of Multi-State Speciation and Extinction models, we explore the most likely scenarios for evolutionary transitions among diets in this clade and ask whether ruminant lineages with different feeding styles (browsing, grazing and mixed feeding) underwent differential rates of diversification concomitant with global

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Large-scale ruminant genome sequencing provides insights into their evolution and distinct traits

The ruminants are one of the most successful mammalian lineages, exhibiting morphological and habitat diversity and containing several key livestock species. To better understand their evolution, we generated and analyzed de novo assembled genomes of 44 ruminant species, representing all six Ruminantia families. We used these genomes to create a time-calibrated phylogeny to resolve topological controversies, overcoming the challenges of incomplete lineage sorting. Population dynamic analyses show that population declines commenced between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, which is concomitant

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Ancestral feeding state of ruminants reconsidered: earliest grazing adaptation claims a mixed condition for Cervidae

Background: Specialised leaf-eating is almost universally regarded as the ancestral state of all ruminants, yet little evidence can be cited in support of this assumption, apart from the fact that all early ruminants had low crowned cheek teeth. Instead, recent years have seen the emergence evidence contradicting the conventional view that low tooth crowns always indicate leaf-eating and high tooth crowns grass-eating. Results: Here we report the results of two independent palaeodietary reconstructions for one of the earliest deer, Procervulus

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Evolution, Ecology and Biochronology of herbivore associations in Europe during the last 3 million years

A study of the evolution of the herbivore community during the last three million years in Europe is proposed in this paper. The study includes the analysis of evolutionary changes of systematic and ecological structure (taxa diversity, body mass, diet specializations) related both with eco-physiological and environmental factors. Several biochronological phases can be envisioned. The most drastic change in the herbivore community structure coincides with the onset of the global glacial/interglacial cycle. It marks the emergence of the zoogeographical Palearctic

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The use of dosed and herbage n-Alkanes as markers for the determination of digestive strategies of captive giraffes (giraffa camelopardalis)

Selected aspects of digestion in captive giraffes were investigated in two trials with a type of marker that is new for digestive studies in non-domestic species. n-Alkanes were used as internal and external markers. In Trial 1, diet composition, intake, and digestibility were directly measured and estimated with the marker. Six giraffes were dosed once daily for 3 weeks with labeled pellets containing 3,800 ppm of each C28, C32, and C36 alkanes at ~100 mg/100 kg bodyweight. Intake of cabbage,

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Gross Anatomy of the Intestine in the Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis)

We describe the macroscopic anatomy of the intestine of the giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis). The small intestine was divided into duodenum, jejunum and ileum as usual. The caecum was attached to the ileum by a long ileocaecal fold, and to the proximal ansa of the ascending colon by a caecocolic fold. The ascending colon was the most developed portion of the gross intestine and had the most complex arrangement with three ansae: the proximal ansa, the spiral ansa and the distal

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Feed Selection and Digestibility by Captive Giraffe

A digestion trial with subsequent examination of feed selection was conducted using two captive giraffe fed four feedstuffs. Apparent digestibility coefficients were relatively high, indicating that the animals were efficiently utilizing the feedstuffs. However, values could be affected by the possible ingestion of soil containing acid‐insoluble ash. A high fiber pelleted feed was eaten in a greater quantity than a low fiber feed, even though the constituents in each feed were the same. Gross energy content of residual hay was

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