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Microbial Fermentation in Herbivorous Marsupials

Ian D. Hume


Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia


Microbial fermentation is important in herbivorous marsupials, both foregut (kangaroos) and hindgut fermenters (koala, greater glider, ringtail possum). The pattern of fermentation in the kangaroo stomach differs from the rumen, but efficiencies are similar. Fermentation in the koala hindgut is slow and related to the low nutritive value of Eucalyptus foliage.