Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
American BisonA Natural History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Dale Lott, Jan van Wagtendonk, and Kevin Shaffer

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520233386

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520233386.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022



Grass to Gas and Chips

(p.47) Chapter 5 Digestion
American Bison

Dale F. Lott

University of California Press

A grassland's plants combine the energy from the sun with water and nutrients from the soil to grow and reproduce. These plants produce the stuff of life and growth for grass eaters. There are carbohydrates for energy and protein for growth and repairing body parts. Digesting anything is a strictly chemical matter of subjecting it to an enzyme that breaks certain molecular bonds. Bison don't secrete an enzyme that digests cellulose either, but they enlist colonies of bacteria. The front part of their stomach is segmented off by a fold (the rumen) in which newly swallowed food is kept for a while. It serves as a place where some very helpful bacteria put their enzymes to work digesting the cellulose. The ruminants have enlisted a powerful ally in their arms race with grass.

Keywords:   digestion, grassland, cellulose, bacteria, ruminants, rumen, bison, grass

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.