In regard to a discussion with someone who believes the Bible is in error when it speaks of the "hare chewing the cud" this is a page with some information and links.

(added 29 Dec. 2003) An essay by Ken about this topic:
http://www.christian-forum.net/index.php?showtopic=178
The endnotes of that essay contain many links to other online resources.

This was information I first supplied to this person:

Here is what I found on this page:
http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-3/digestibility.html
7. Undigested fiber and waste (hard fecal pellets) pass through the large
intestine along with vitamin-rich cecotropes (soft cecal pellets), which are
formed from fermented cecal material. Cecotropes are higher in protein and
water and lower in fiber than fecal pellets. (Cheeke 1987)
...
8. Cecotropes are consumed directly from the anus and returned to the
digestive system (cecotrophy).
9. Protected in mucous membrane packages, cecotropes continue to ferment in
the stomach for several hours, until they pass to the small intestine where
the nutrients are absorbed. (Cheeke 1987)

After I presented the information above about the unique digestive system of the rabbit (or hare), this person responded in a new message with the subject "Dogs are a better argument":

"There's a few reasons for that. First, I don't have to be a vet to know that
cows (and other ruminants) have a special setup in their digestive systems
which permits them to chew cud. The way I understand it, it comes back up,
and they continue to chew on it. They have a special stomach system designed
just for this. To my understanding, they're able to get more out of roughage
with this system. Neat.

Second, rabbits don't have that like cows do. Neither do dogs, as I said, but
they are certainly known to not only eat their own droppings, but the
droppings of others, on occasion. Gross, I know, but true. I've also
witnessed a dog cleaning up another animals vomitus (a cat, specifically), so
you actually have a better argument that dogs chew the cud than the one
you've come up with for rabbits, for cows do the same thing after a fashion,
as I understand it."

It is obvious that this person doesn't understand much about different digestive systems when he can't see the difference between that of a dog and a rabbit (or hare), or thinks the dog is more similar to a cow. Therefore I quickly collected some links and basic information from various sources on the web.

It is understandable that many people don't know that God gave the rabbit (or hare) a unique digestive system that performs the same process as the cow but in a different manner. To require the "hare to chew the cud" in the exact same way as the cow is a technical stipulation that is unnecessary. Discern the spirit of the person who would use such a flimsy argument to argue that God's Word is in error about this topic.


http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/rjbiology/ELOs/ELO45.html
SYMBIOSIS WITHIN THE VERTEBRATE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM

               Bacterial Digestion of Cellulose Within Animals
                       Vertebrates lack enzymes to digest plant material
                       Some bacteria can do so and are harbored by animals    fig 45.15
                               Plays relatively small role in human nutrition
                               Essential nutrition for termites, cockroaches and some herbivores
                       Cows and related ruminants possess two stomachs fig 45.16
                               First stomach has two chambers: rumen and reticulum
                               Second stomach has two chambers, omasum and abomasum
                       Capacity of rumen is 50 gallons
                               Provides a fermentation vat for bacteria and protozoa to process cellulose
                               Allows cows to regurgitate and rechew their food (cud)
                       Re-chewed food swallowed, goes into reticulum, omasum and abomasum
                               Abomasum released gastric juices
                               Is equivalent to human stomach
                               Leads to a very efficient digestion of cellulose
                       Horses, rodents and lagomorphs retain bacteria in the caecum
                               Cannot regurgitate material from caecum
                               Rats and rabbits redigest cellulose another way
                               Eat feces and literally redigest them a second time
                               Efficiency approaches that of ruminants


http://www.labdiet.com/pmi_source/specialty/rabbits.html
The rabbit eliminates two kinds of feces. The "day" feces are hard, round and dry. The "night" feces are soft and encased in a membrane. These night feces are consumed by the rabbits as an important source of nutrients.


http://www.physiol.cam.ac.uk/staff/findlay/giintro.htm
THE GASTROINTESTINAL SYSTEM: AN INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION: CARNIVORES, OMNIVORES AND HERBIVORES


http://asci.uvm.edu/nusc43/DIGES.htm


http://asnet.tamu.edu/www/kids/rabbit.htm
Rabbits have a unique digestive system...


http://galaxy.ucr.edu/~chappell/Bio5B/digest.html


http://www.rmca.org/Articles/coprophagy.htm
One may not give much thought to the lazy chewing of the cud that we observe cows doing all the time, but this behavior is analogous to coprophagy. The only difference between cud chewing and coprophagy is the point in the digestive tract at which nutrients are expelled and then placed back into the mouth.


http://www.inform.umd.edu/EdRes/Topic/AgrEnv/ndd/goat/DIGESTION.html

Note: search for "rabbit" on this page


http://microvet.arizona.edu/Courses/MIC443/notes/rabbits.htm
Rabbits are sometimes called "pseudo-ruminants"...
The rhythmic cycle of coprophagy of pure cecal contents practiced by all rabbits allows utilization of microbial protein and fermentation products, as well as recycling of certain minerals. Whereas the feces commonly seen excreted by rabbits are fairly large, dry and ovoid, excreted singly, and consist of fibrous plant material, cecotrophs are about half that size, occur in moist bundles stuck together with mucus, and are very fine textured and odiferous. They are seldom seen, as the rabbit plucks them directly from the anus as they are passed and swallows them whole. Normal rabbits do not allow cecotrophs to drop to the floor or ground, and their presence there indicates a mechanical problem or illness in the rabbit.


http://www.ultranet.com/~hrs/artcl03.htm
Cecotrophy
by Janet Tast, D.V.M.
Cecotropy is the process by which rabbits will reingest part of their feces directly from the rectum. This should not be confused with the term coprophagy (eating fecal material) since rabbits only ingest the soft "night" feces or cecotrophs.


http://arbl.cvmbs.colostate.edu/hbooks/pathphys/digestion/index.html

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