In regard to a discussion with someone who believes the Bible is in error when it speaks of the "hare chewing the cud" this is a page with some information and links.
(added 29 Dec. 2003) An essay by Ken about this topic:
The endnotes of that essay contain many links to other online resources.
This was information I first supplied to this person:
After I presented the information above about the unique digestive system of the rabbit (or hare), this person responded in a new message with the subject "Dogs are a better argument":
"There's a few reasons for that. First, I don't have to be a vet to know that
cows (and other ruminants) have a special setup in their digestive systems
which permits them to chew cud. The way I understand it, it comes back up,
and they continue to chew on it. They have a special stomach system designed
just for this. To my understanding, they're able to get more out of roughage
with this system. Neat.
Second, rabbits don't have that like cows do. Neither do dogs, as I said, but
they are certainly known to not only eat their own droppings, but the
droppings of others, on occasion. Gross, I know, but true. I've also
witnessed a dog cleaning up another animals vomitus (a cat, specifically), so
you actually have a better argument that dogs chew the cud than the one
you've come up with for rabbits, for cows do the same thing after a fashion,
as I understand it."
It is obvious that this person doesn't understand much about different digestive systems when he can't see the difference between that of a dog and a rabbit (or hare), or thinks the dog is more similar to a cow. Therefore I quickly collected some links and basic information from various sources on the web.
It is understandable that many people don't know that God gave the rabbit (or hare) a unique digestive system that performs the same process as the cow but in a different manner. To require the "hare to chew the cud" in the exact same way as the cow is a technical stipulation that is unnecessary. Discern the spirit of the person who would use such a flimsy argument to argue that God's Word is in error about this topic.
SYMBIOSIS WITHIN THE VERTEBRATE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
of Cellulose Within Animals
Vertebrates lack enzymes to digest plant material
Some bacteria can do so and are harbored by animals fig 45.15
Plays relatively small role in human nutrition
Essential nutrition for termites, cockroaches and some herbivores
Cows and related ruminants possess two stomachs fig 45.16
First stomach has two chambers: rumen and reticulum
Second stomach has two chambers, omasum and abomasum
Capacity of rumen is 50 gallons
Provides a fermentation vat for bacteria and protozoa to process cellulose
Allows cows to regurgitate and rechew their food (cud)
Re-chewed food swallowed, goes into reticulum, omasum and abomasum
Abomasum released gastric juices
Is equivalent to human stomach
Leads to a very efficient digestion of cellulose
Horses, rodents and lagomorphs retain bacteria in the caecum
Cannot regurgitate material from caecum
Rats and rabbits redigest cellulose another way
Eat feces and literally redigest them a second time
Efficiency approaches that of ruminants
The rabbit eliminates two kinds of feces. The "day" feces are hard, round and dry. The "night" feces are soft and encased in a membrane. These night feces are consumed by the rabbits as an important source of nutrients.
THE GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: AN INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION: CARNIVORES, OMNIVORES AND HERBIVORES
Rabbits have a unique digestive system...
Note: search for "rabbit" on this page
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