Balucatherium most likely digested its food in its intestines. An animal which does this is termed a hind gut fermenter. This is the same type of digestion seen in present day rhinoceroses and elephants (seen on the right). This type of digestion is not as efficient as the process employed by ruminants, such as cows and giraffes, which have a four chambered stomach to serve as microbial vats. Ruminants swallow their food into one stomach where it can be stored and partially decomposed. The half digested food is then brought back up as cud for further chewing and then reswallowed. This allows the animal to obtain the maximum nutrient uptake from the food that it is eating.

Balucatherium on the other hand would have had but one chance to drain the food of as many nutrients as it could before it was passed.


(Above: Cows, ruminant digesters, possess four stomachs 
which aid in the metabolic process. This allows the cow to 
obtain the maximum amount of nutrients from its food)
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