These ruminants are best described as goat-like antelopes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Although many of the domesticated breeds are hornless, sheep belong to the family of hollow-horned ruminants or Bovidae.
In this connexion reference may be made to patches or lines of long and generally white hairs situated on the back of certain ruminants, which are capable of erection during periods of excitement, and serve, apparently, as " flags " to guide the members of a herd in flight.
Other epidermic appendages are the horns of ruminants and rhinoceroses - the former being elongated, tapering, hollow caps of hardened epidermis of fibrous structure, fitting on and growing from conical projections of the frontal bones and always arranged in pairs, while the latter are of similar structure, but without any internal bony support, and situated in the middle line.
" larmier," or " crumen," of antelopes and deer, the frontal gland of the muntjak and of bats of the genus Phyllorhina, the chingland of the chevrotains and of Taphozous and certain other bats, the glandular patch behind the ear of the chamois and the reedbuck, the glands on the lower parts of the legs of most deer and a few antelopes (the position of which is indicated by tufts of long and often specially coloured hair), the interdigital foot-glands of goats, sheep, and many other ruminants, the temporal gland of elephants, the lateral glands of the musk-shrew, the gland on the back of the hyrax and the peccary (from the presence of which the latter animal takes the name Dicotyles), the gland on the tails of the members of the dog-tribe, the preputial glands of the muskdeer and beaver (both well known for the use made of their powerfully odorous secretion in perfumery), and also of the swine and hare, the anal glands of Carnivora, the perineal gland of the civet (also of commercial value), the caudal glands of the fox and goat, the gland on the wing-membrane of bats of the genus Saccopteryx, the post-digital gland of the rhinoceros, &c. Very generally these glands are common to both sexes, and it is in such cases that their function as a means of mutual recognition is most evident.
In the herbivorous modification, as seen in three distinct phases in the horse, the kangaroo, and in ruminants, the incisors are generally well developed in one or both jaws, and have a nipping action, either against one another or against a toothless hard pad in the upper jaw; while the canines are usually small or absent, at least in the upper jaw, but in the lower jaw may be approximated and assimilated to the incisors.
The anterior part of the palate is composed of mucous membrane tightly stretched over the flat or slightly concave bony layer which separates the mouth from the nasal passages, and is generally raised into a series of transverse ridges, which sometimes, as in ruminants, attain a considerable development.
Artiodactyla (Ruminants, Swine, &c.).
An African origin has also been suggested for the hollow-horned ruminants (Bovidae); and if this were substantiated it would explain the abundance of that family in Africa and the absence from the heart of that continent of the deer-tribe.
Whether its birthplace was in Africa or to the north, it is, however, clear that the hollow-horned ruminants are essentially an Old World group, which only effected an entrance into North America at a comparatively recent date, and never succeeded in reaching South America.
They are exceedingly timid, and therefore wary and difficult of approach; like many other ruminants, however, their curiosity sometimes overcomes their timidity, so as to bring them within range of the hunter's rifle.
Of ruminants, beside the sheep (0.