11 Animals With Multiple Stomachs

Animals with multiple stomachs

Many animals are born with many multiple similar organs, such as animals having multiple stomachs.

Animals with multiple stomachs can digest their food in different ways, allowing them to live normally.

Animals with multiple stomachs are known as ruminants, after the term “rumen,” which refers to a part of the stomach.

As a result, animals with four stomachs are commonly referred to as ruminants. Pseudo-ruminants, on the other hand, are animals having three stomachs.

These extra stomachs assist these animals in digesting their food and gaining additional nutrients as needed.

1. Reindeer

Reindeer
Photo by Adam Smotkin

Number of stomachs: 4

Reindeers are among the animals with multiple stomachs. Reindeer are herbivores native to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, northern Europe, and northern Asia.

Their grey-brown fur and antlers differentiate them. Reindeer are used as a source of food, milk, and transportation in many regions.

On the other hand, brown bears, polar bears, and wolves frequently hunt on reindeer. Reindeer populations are threatened by overhunting, and they are classified as vulnerable species.

Reindeer are ruminants, just like the rest of the deer family. Ruminants “chew the cud” and have four stomachs.

This means they chew their food thoroughly enough to swallow it and store it in the first stomach (the rumen).

The food is subsequently broken down even further in the second stomach (the reticulum) before being burped back into their mouth to be eaten again.

This is known as chewing the cud and is often done while they are sleeping. The meal is then swallowed again and absorbed into the third stomach (the omasum).

Finally, it is delivered to the abomasum, where it is further broken down before being delivered to the intestines, where nutrients are absorbed.

2. Cows

Cows
Photo by Stijn te Strake

Number of stomachs: 4

Cows have four separate stomach chambers that help them digest everything they eat, making them maybe the most well-known animal with more than one stomach.

The Rumen, Reticulum, Omasum, and Abomasum are the four stomachs. Each portion of a cow’s enormous gastrointestinal system has a specialized purpose in helping the animal digest its food slowly and obtain all of its nutrients.

They chew and swallow their food before returning it to their mouths to chew again. Chewing their cud is a crucial aspect of a cow’s digestive and stomach system since it allows them to break down the food they’re eating precisely.

3. Camel

Camel
Photo by rolf neumann

Number of stomachs: 3

One of the animals with multiple stomachs is a camel. Camels are unique animals known for their humps on their backs and their ability to thrive in Africa and the Middle East’s harsh desert climates.

The dromedary (single hump), Bactrian (two humps), and Wild Bactrian are the three species that still exist today (also two humps).

Camels have been tamed for a long time and are an important mode of transportation in the desert.

Camels have adapted to the hot climate in a variety of ways, including living for days without water.

They accomplish this by storing fatty tissue in their humps that can be converted to water. Camels have three stomachs, just like the other camelids (alpacas and llamas).

4. Cachalot Whales

Cachalot (Sperm) Whales
Photo by Todd Cravens

Number of stomachs: 4

The stomach system of the cachalot or sperm whale is especially fascinating, as these animals have four stomachs.

However, their digestive systems differ slightly from those of cows and deer. These species of whales, for example, have teeth but are unable to chew their food.

As a result, the first chamber of their gastrointestinal system assists them in breaking down and crushing this food into tiny pieces.

The muscles in the initial region of their stomach aid the organ in its task. After that, food is digested in the second chamber before moving on to the next two portions.

The food of sperm whales differs from that of the other ruminants on this list. Since the majority of the other animals on this island graze on plants, their four-chambered stomachs aid in the digestion of their low-energy diets.

Sperm whales differ from other whales in that they eat other fish species in the ocean.

5. Alligators

Alligators
Photo by Kyaw Tun

Number of stomachs: 2

Alligators are large carnivorous reptiles found in freshwater lakes, rivers, and swamps in the United States, Mexico, and China.

The most visible difference between them and crocodiles is their snout shape, which is normally black or greenish-brown with white undersides.

Crocodiles have a thin and pointed nose, whereas alligators have a considerably shorter and rounder snout.

Their snout has incredible strength, allowing them to crush prey like turtles and small mammals.

Alligators have two stomachs, one for eating and one for digesting their prey. The first half contains gastroliths (stones) to grind up the meal, while the second part is extremely acidic to break down the remaining food so that it may be digested.

6. Moose

Moose
Photo by Hari Nandakumar

Number of stomachs: 4

Moose has a huge stomach divided into four sections, comparable to cows and deer. Moose feed on plants and have a low-energy diet by nature.

As a result, their system is designed to help them to extract and store as much energy as possible from their meal.

Their four-chamber stomach mechanism also allows them to re-chew and re-swallow food they’ve already consumed, allowing them to break it down into smaller, more digestible pieces.

7. Kangaroo

Kangaroo
Photo by David Clode

Number of stomachs: 2

Kangaroos are the largest of the Macropodidae family’s four members. They are marsupials with two stomach chambers that are native to Australia and New Guinea.

Kangaroos are herbivores who prefer to graze on grass and plants. They regurgitate food and chew it again, but because chewing the cud is more difficult for them, they do not chew it as often as ruminants.

Kangaroos can be identified by their characteristic hopping motion, which is enabled by their muscular back legs and long tail.

The largest kangaroos can grow to be 8 feet tall and reach a top speed of 43 mph. Males usually “box” by grappling and balancing on their tails while kicking each other in the stomach with their back legs.

Many of kangaroos’ natural predators are now extinct, but dingos, eagles, and goannas still exist.

8. Hippopotamus

Hippopotamus
Photo by Francesco Ungaro

Number of stomachs: 3

Hippopotamuses are classified as pseudo-ruminant animals rather than ruminants since they have three stomach chambers.

Ruminants are animals that have four stomachs, such as deer and cows. The parietal blind sac, the stomach, and the glandular stomach make up a hippo’s stomach.

Hippos do not regurgitate their food or chew their cud since they do not ruminate like cows and deer.

Hippos are grazers who feed on plants while being omnivorous. Their digestive system enables them to extract the most energy from the plant-based, low-energy foods they consume regularly.

Even though they only have three stomachs, their digestive system is considered one of the most sophisticated and interesting in most animals.

9. Ostrich

Ostrich
Photo by Bruno Ramos Lara

Number of stomachs: 3

Ostriches are among the animals with multiple stomachs. Ostriches are large, flightless birds found only in Africa.

They are also the fastest land birds, reaching speeds of 43 mph. The common ostrich and the Somali ostrich are the two kinds of ostrich that exist, and both can grow to be around 9 feet tall.

Ostriches have long necks, lengthy legs, and small heads. Females are grey and brown, with white wings and tails, whereas males are black.

Ostriches are found in savannas and deserts, where they eat seeds, grass, bushes, insects, and small reptiles.

Ostriches have three stomachs and an exceptionally lengthy intestine, which makes them unique. Since they lack teeth, they ingest small stones to aid in the digestion of their food.

As a result, they require three stomachs to digest all of the different foods they consume. The stomach’s ventriculus is where they keep stones and pebbles to crush their meal. Some ostriches even have 2 pounds of stones in their stomachs.

10. Dolphins

Dolphins
Photo by Fabrizio Frigeni

Number of stomachs: 3

Dolphins are clever aquatic mammals that can be found all over the globe. There are 40 different species of dolphins, and they can be found in every ocean and even freshwater rivers.

They range in size from 6 feet long to 31 feet long killer whales that belong to the dolphin family.

Dolphins can dive to depths of up to 1,000 feet and eat a variety of fish, squid, and crustaceans. Although most dolphins have three stomachs, some have only two.

Since dolphins do not chew their food, the first stomach is responsible for breaking it down into smaller bits, while the second and third stomachs handle the rest of the digestion.

11. Giraffe

Giraffe
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski

Number of stomachs: 4

Giraffes are one of the animals with multiple stomachs and are also the world’s tallest living animals and the largest ruminants.

There are nine subspecies of these magnificent animals that are native to Africa. Giraffes are easily identified by their tall necks and distinctive tan and white coat pattern.

They can reach a staggering 20 feet in height, allowing them to reach foliage at the tops of trees that other animals cannot.

Giraffes prefer to eat from acacia trees and reside in savannahs and open forest settings. They have four stomach chambers, with the first one adapting to their acacia-based diet.

Giraffes eat for the majority of the day and ingest approximately 75 pounds of leaves every day.

Giraffes live in herds with adult females and young, with males living in separate bachelor herds. Adults have a high survival rate, with most living to be around 38 years old.

Adults are mainly only preyed on by lions because of their size and powerful hindlegs, which can deliver a devastating kick to a predator.

On the other hand, leopards, hyenas, and wild dogs frequently feed on calves, with only about half reaching adulthood.

Unfortunately, giraffes are in decline and are classified as vulnerable, while numerous subspecies are threatened.

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