The cannon-bones are remarkably short and wide, and in this respect differ from those of all allied ruminants, except the Tibetan takin.
The Bovidae, or hollow-horned ruminants, are represented by several genera of antelopes, and by species of true Bos - such as B.
The same conclusion is indicated by the absence from the Moluccas and Celebes of various other Mammals, Quadrumana, Carnivora, Insectivora and Ruminants, which abound in the western part of the Archipelago.
This, however, is not the whole of the past history of the muskox group; and in this connexion it may be mentioned that palaeontological discoveries are gradually making it evident that the poverty of America in species of horned ruminants is to a great extent a feature of the present day, and that in past times it possessed a considerable number of representatives of this group. One of the latest additions to the list is a large sheep-like animal from a cave in California, apparently representing a new generic type, which has been described by E.
Of the ruminants, Brazil has only four or five species of Cervidae, which are likewise common to other countries of South America.
The majority of these are large and heavilybuilt ruminants, with horns present in both sexes, the muzzle broad, moist and naked, the nostrils lateral, no face-glands, and a large dewlap often developed in the males; while the tail is long and generally tufted, although in one instance longhaired throughout.
Next come the Rupicaprinae, which include several genera of mountain-dwelling ruminants, typified by the European chamois (Rupicapra); the other genera being the Asiatic serow, goral and takin, and the North American Rocky Mountain goat.
These ruminants are best described as goat-like antelopes.
(See Tylofoda.) In the same sectional group is included the North American family of oreodonts (Oreodontidae), which are much more primitive ruminants, with shorter necks and limbs, the full series of 44 teeth, all in apposition, and the metacarpal and metatarsal bones separate, and the toes generally of more normal type, although sometimes claw-like.
Some, for instance, may consider that the chamois and the so-called white goat of the Rocky Mountains are entitled to be included in the group; but this is not the view held by the authors of the Book of Antelopes referred to below; and, as a matter of fact, the term is only a vague designation for a number of more or less distinct groups of hollow-horned ruminants which do not come under the designation of cattle, sheep or goats; and in reality there ought to be a distinct English groupname for each subfamily into which "antelopes" are subdivided.
The great majority of antelopes, exclusive of the doubtful chamois group (which, however, will be included in the present article), are African, although the gazelles are to a considerable extent an Asiatic;'group. They include ruminants varying in size from a hare to an ox; and comprise about 150 species, although this number is subject to considerable variation according to personal views as to the limitations of species and races.
They are all small or medium-sized mountain ruminants, for the most part European and Asiatic, but with one North American representative.
They are heavily built ruminants, with horns of nearly equal size in both sexes, short tapering tails, large hoofs, narrow goat-like upper molars, and usually small face-glands.
Possibly the Arctic musk-ox (Ovibos) may be connected with the takin by means of certain extinct ruminants, such as the North American Pleistocene Euceratherium and the European Pliocene Criotherium (see Chamois, Goral, Serow, Rocky Mountain Goat and Takin).
It is probable that the milk of ruminants possesses certain physical and physiological distinctions from that of non-ruminant animals, which will account for the virtues attributed to the milk of the ass and mare.
Gerenuk are browsing ruminants, and, in Somaliland, are found in small family-parties, and feed more by browsing on the branches and leaves of trees and shrubs than by grazing.
It is the only species of its genus, and typifies a subfamily, Rupicaprinae, of hollowhorned ruminants in some degree intermediate between antelopes and goats (see ANTELOPE).
About equal in height to a roebuck, and with a short black tail, the chamois is readily distinguishable from all other ruminants by its vertical, backwardly-hooked, black horns, which are common to males and females, although smaller in the latter.
A thick under-fur is developed in the winter-coat, as in all other ruminants dwelling at high altitudes.
Pecora, or true ruminants as they may be conveniently called, have complex stomachs and chew the cud; they have no upper incisor teeth; and the lower canines are approximated to the outer incisors in such a manner that the three incisors and the one canine of the two sides collectively form a continuous semicircle of four pairs of nearly similar teeth.
In the great majority of " Hollow-horned Ruminants," such as oxen, sheep, goats and antelopes (fig.
Gadow is of opinion that the antlers of the deer, the hornlike protuberances on the skull of the giraffe, and the true horns of the prongbuck and other hollow-horned ruminants (Bovidae) are all different stages of evolution from a single common type: the antlers of the deer being the most primitive, and the horns of the Bovidae the most specialized.
From the fact that the bony horn-core of the hollow-horned ruminants first develops as a separate ossification, as do the horns of the giraffe, while the pedicle of the antlers of the deer grow direct from the frontal bone, it has been proposed to place the hollow-horned ruminants (inclusive of the prongbuck) and the giraffes in one group and the deer in another.
Whether he is right in regarding the hollow-horned ruminants as derived from the primitive deer may, however, be a matter of opinion.
The feet have only two hoofs, all traces of the small lateral pair found in many other ruminants having disappeared.
From North America have been obtained remains of certain ruminants which seem in some degree intermediate between deer and the prongbuck.
The most noteworthy point of distinction is in the skull, in which the facial portion is sharply bent down on the posterior basal axis in the fashion characteristic of the hollow-horned ruminants (oxen, antelopes, &c.), and the American prongbuck, instead of running more or less nearly parallel to the same, as in deer.
In the absence of any trace of the lower extremities of the metacarpal and metatarsal bones of the lateral toes the skeleton differs from the American deer, and resembles those hollow-horned ruminants in which these toes persist.
Lastly, we have the great family of hollow-horned ruminants or Bovidae, in which the horns (present in the males at least of all the existing species) take the form of simple non-deciduous hollow sheaths growing upon bony cores.
The most interesting of the ruminants is the timarau (Bubalus mindorensis, Heude), peculiar to Mindoro.
The Jews are forbidden to eat animals other than cloven-footed ruminants; thus the camel, coney, hare and swine were forbidden; so also any water organisms that had not fins and scales, and a large choice of birds, including swan, pelican, stork, heron and hoopoe.
The ruminants are represented by a few species only - the guanaco (Auchenia huanaco), vicuna (A.
The Siwalik fossils contain 84 species of mammals of 45 genera, the whole bearing a marked resemblance to the Miocene fauna of Europe, but containing a larger number of genera still existing, especially of ruminants, and now held to be of Pliocene age.
Three very characteristic ruminants, having some affinities with goats, inhabit the Himalaya; these are the " serow " (Nemorhaedus), " goral " (Cemas) and " tahr " (Hemitragus), the last-named ranging to rather high elevations.