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An Evolutionary History of Browsing and Grazing Ungulates

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Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD,volume 195)

Browsing (i.e., eating woody and non-woody dicotyledonous plants) and grazing (i.e., eating grass) are distinctively different types of feeding behaviour among ungulates today. Ungulates with different diets have different morphologies (both craniodental ones and in aspects of the digestive system) and physiologies, although some of these differences are merely related to body size, as grazers are usually larger than browsers. There is also a difference in the foraging behaviour in terms of the relationship between resource abundance and intake rate, which is linear in browsers but asymptotic in grazers. The spatial distribution of the food resource is also different for the different types of herbage, browse being more patchily distributed than grass, and thus browsers and grazers are likely to have a very different perception of food resources in any given ecosystem (see Gordon 2003, for review).

Keywords

  • Late Miocene
  • Late Eocene
  • Cheek Tooth
  • Mixed Feeding
  • White Rhino

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Janis, C. (2008). An Evolutionary History of Browsing and Grazing Ungulates. In: Gordon, I.J., Prins, H.H.T. (eds) The Ecology of Browsing and Grazing. Ecological Studies, vol 195. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-72422-3_2

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