Agricultural Science Paper 2, Nov/Dec 2010  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Main
General Comments

Question 8

(a) Draw and label the digestive system of a ruminant animal. [6 marks]

(b) Describe the process of digestion in the ruminant animal. [10 marks]


This question was poorly attempted by most of the candidates that answered it. In question 8(a), some of the candidates could not draw and label the digestive system of a ruminant animal. Further to this, most of the candidates were unable to describe the process of digestion in the ruminant animal as demanded in question 8(b).

The expected answer include:

Digestive system of a ruminant animal





Description of the process of digestion in the ruminant animal
- The food material (grasses in most cases) is gathered into the mouth with the aid of the tongue and griped by the teeth on the lower jaw

- The grass passes through the oesophagus and enters the first stomach, or rumen, where digestion of cellulose by bacteria takes place;

- By anti-peristaltic movement of the stomach, the undigested grass or cud passes from the rumen to the reticulum from where it re-enters the oesophagus and finally gets back to the mouth;

- The cud is then chewed for a time with the molars in a semi-liquid cud and it is then swallowed into the third chamber, called the manyplies or omasum; from where it passes to the last chamber, the abomasum where gastric juice is secreted into the semi-digested food called chyme. This chyme then passes through the duodenum into the small intestine where complete digestion and absorption of the nutrients take place.

- The undigested material passes into the large intestine where further absorption of water takes place and then finally passes to the ceacum and rectum and finally voided through the anus.


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