, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 82–84 | Cite as

A decade since ”diversification of ruminants”: has our knowledge improved?

  • S. S. Ditchkoff


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.

Key words

Concentrate selectors Intermediate feeders Roughage eaters Rumen bypass Ruminant diversification 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. S. Ditchkoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA e-mail: Fax: +1-405-7447824USA

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