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Name: Kaede
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Question:
why can cows digest grasses while persons don't?


Replies:
The digestive system of cows is quite complex, you can find details in a library or by an internet search. Their systems have adapted through evolution over many generations to take advantage of that particular food.

J. Elliott


Cows don't actually digest grass, which contains cellulose. They have a ruminant stomach, which means that their stomach is compartmentalized. Some would say they have more than one stomach. But in one of the "stomachs" they have bacteria which are able to break a specific chemical bond in cellulose that breaks it down into glucose. This is an example of mutualistic symbiosis, where both organisms benefit from a relationship. The cow benefits by being able to take advantage of a food source, and the bacteria get a ready supply of food and protection. Did you know that termites can't digest wood? They also have organisms living in their guts that break down the cellulose in wood.

vanhoeck


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