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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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257 news items

Pig World

Pig World
Sun, 01 Nov 2015 21:48:45 -0800

Europe and China are to work together on a monogastric production project to improve the overall efficiency of the livestock involved, while also seeking to reduce their environmental impact. The project, which is called Feed-a-Gene, will focus on the ...

All about feed

All about feed
Thu, 29 Oct 2015 05:31:02 -0700

According to the project founders, environmental issues (phosphate and nitrate concentration in water) caused by monogastric livestock production must be addressed and new solutions to increase the efficiency and sustainability of livestock production ...


Thu, 26 Nov 2015 09:03:45 -0800

Monogastric creatures, such as poultry and pigs, have one stomach and are substantially less damaging. If you must eat meat, eat chicken and pork, according to the data. The auguries are not good. Meat eating is likely to increase 76% over the next 35 ...

Canada NewsWire (press release)

Canada NewsWire (press release)
Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:00:00 -0800

... technologies, MicroSintesis has developed strategic partnerships with a range of industry and innovation leaders. The company expects to launch its first product next year for feed animals, with products for other monogastric animals following soon ...


Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:11:15 -0800

The team is hoping to develop feeding strategies and additives that target key bacteria and gut functions to optimize monogastric production. They are currently trying to inoculate pigs and chickens with microbiota from good FE animals and feed ...
Cordis News
Fri, 06 Nov 2015 06:15:00 -0800

Feed-a-Gene is a H2020-funded project coordinated by INRA (France) that aims to adapt monogastric livestock production systems (pigs, poultry and rabbits) to improve their overall efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. The project will ...


Fri, 16 Oct 2015 03:48:46 -0700

“China is facing similar challenges in its monogastric production systems but perhaps on an even greater scale. Politically the EU Commission is encouraging further collaboration with China in terms of research as that country has long been orientated ...
GlobeNewswire (press release)
Tue, 03 Nov 2015 06:26:15 -0800

While global monogastric species volumes were relatively strong, our ruminant species volumes fell far short of expectations primarily due to significantly lower export sales as a result of very challenging global dairy market dynamics combined with ...

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