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Title: Ruminantia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Even-toed ungulate, Ruminant, Protoceratidae, Tylopoda, Hippopotamus
Collection: Even-Toed Ungulates, Ypresian First Appearances
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Temporal range: 49–0 Ma
Late Eocene - Holocene
White-tailed deer
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Clade: Ruminantiamorpha
Spaulding et al., 2009
Suborder: Ruminantia
Scopoli, 1777

Ruminantia is a taxon within the order Artiodactyla that includes many of the well-known large grazing or browsing mammals: among them cattle, goats, sheep, deer, and antelope. All members of the Ruminantia employ foregut fermentation and are ruminants: they digest food in two steps, chewing and swallowing in the normal way to begin with, and then regurgitating the semidigested cud to rechew it and thus extract the maximum possible food value.


Ruminantiamorpha is a total clade of artiodactyls defined, according to Spaulding et al., as "Ruminantia plus all extinct taxa more closely related to extant members of Ruminantia than to any other living species."[1] Spaulding grouped some genera of the family Anthracotheriidae as within Ruminantiamorpha but not Ruminantia, but placed other anthracotheres within Ruminantiamorpha's sister clade, Cetancodontamorpha.

The Tragulidae are the basal family in the Ruminantia.[2]

The ancestral Ruminantia karyotype is 2n = 48 similar to that of cetartiodactyls.[2]










Not all ruminants belong to the Ruminantia.[3] Tylopoda and Hippopotamidae are classified as pseudoruminants.[3] A number of other large grazing mammals, e.g. horses and Kangaroos, employ hindgut fermentation as an adaptation for surviving on large quantities of low-grade food.


  1. ^ a b c "Relationships of Cetacea (Artiodactyla) among mammals: increased taxon sampling alters interpretations of key fossils and character evolution". PLoS ONE 4 (9): e7062. 2009.  
  2. ^ a b Kulemzina AI, Yang F, Trifonov VA, Ryder OA, Ferguson-Smith MA, Graphodatsky AS (2011) Chromosome painting in Tragulidae facilitates the reconstruction of Ruminantia ancestral karyotype. Chromosome Res.
  3. ^ a b Whistler, D. P. and S. D. Webb. 2005. New goatlike camelid from the late Pliocene of Tecopa Lake Basin, California. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County Contributions in Science 503:1-40.

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