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A monogastric organism has a simple single-chambered stomach, compared with a ruminant organism, like a cow, goat, or sheep, which has a four-chambered complex stomach. Examples of monogastric animals include omnivores such as humans, rats, dogs and pigs, and carnivores such as cats, and herbivores such as horses and rabbits.[1] Herbivores with monogastric digestion can digest cellulose in their diets by way of symbiotic gut bacteria. However, their ability to extract energy from cellulose digestion is less efficient than in ruminants.[2]

Herbivores digest cellulose via microbial fermentation. Monogastric herbivores which can digest cellulose nearly as well as ruminants are called hindgut fermenters, while ruminants are called foregut fermenters.[3] These are subdivided into two groups based on the relative size of various digestive organs in relationship to the rest of the system: colonic fermenters tend to be larger species such as horses and rhinos, and cecal fermenters are smaller animals such as rabbits and rodents.[4] Great apes (other than humans) derive significant amounts of phytanic acid from the hindgut fermentation of plant materials.[5]

Monogastrics cannot digest the fiber molecule cellulose as efficiently as ruminants, though the ability to digest cellulose varies amongst species.[2]

A monogastric digestive system works as soon as the food enters the mouth. Saliva moistens the food and begins the digestive process. After being swallowed, the food passes from the esophagus into the stomach, where stomach acid and enzymes help to break down the food. Bile salts stored in the gall bladder empty the contents of the stomach into the small intestines where most fats are broken down. The pancreas secretes enzymes and alkali to neutralize the stomach acid.


  1. ^ "Monogastrics Vs Ruminents" (PDF). 
  2. ^ a b Animal Structure & Function
  3. ^ Hindgut versus Foregut Fermenters
  4. ^ Grant, Kerrin. Adaptations in Herbivore Nutrition, July 30, 2010
  5. ^ Watkins, P. A.; Moser, A. B.; Toomer, C. B.; Steinberg, S. J.; Moser, H. W.; Karaman, M. W.; Ramaswamy, K.; Siegmund, K. D.; Lee, D. R.; Ely, J. J.; Ryder, O. A.; Hacia, J. G. (2010). "Identification of differences in human and great ape phytanic acid metabolism that could influence gene expression profiles and physiological functions". BMC Physiology 10: 19. doi:10.1186/1472-6793-10-19. PMC 2964658. PMID 20932325. 

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogastric — Please support Wikipedia.
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Pork Magazine

Pork Magazine
Fri, 28 Aug 2015 06:18:45 -0700

Cereal grains and oilseed meals make up the majority of swine diets, yet contain many forms of nutrients that are unavailable for digestion in monogastric animals. The ability to quickly and accurately evaluate the advantages of nutritional ...
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Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:07:21 -0700

Sales of ingredients for ruminant feed rose 14%, while ingredients for "monogastric" species fell 10%. But the latter had a difficult year-over-year comparison: Balchem's sales in the monogastric market segment spiked a year ago because of ...
The Courier
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 23:39:42 -0700

The Monogastric Science Centre, which will be headed by renowned SRUC senior animal scientist Dr Jos Houdijk, will link research between the pig and poultry sectors. “We are already approached regularly by clients looking to do studies on both species, ...


Tue, 04 Nov 2014 01:00:00 -0800

It will focus on work on pigs and poultry, and will be headed up by Dr Jos Houdijk, one of the College's senior animal scientists. A key part of the work at the centre will be to bring together research on nutrition. SRUC is currently working on two ...


Mon, 10 Aug 2015 08:56:15 -0700

“The end goal of our research is to minimize the variability in the nutritive value of canola meal due to processing conditions and to increase the inclusion level of this valuable protein supplement in monogastric animal diets,” he told FeedNavigator.

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Sun, 02 Nov 2014 04:11:15 -0800

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Thu, 09 Jul 2015 23:33:45 -0700

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