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Rumen: The first stomach of ruminants. It lies on the left side of the body, occupying the whole of the left side of the abdomen and even stretching across the median plane of the body to the right side. It is capacious, divided into an upper and a lower sac, each of which has a blind sac at its posterior extremity. The rumen is lined by mucous membrane containing no digestive glands, but mucus-secreting glands are present in large numbers. Coarse, partially chewed food is stored and churned in the rumen until the animal finds circumstances convenient for rumination. When this occurs, little balls of food are regurgitated through the esophagus into the mouth, and are subjected to a second more thorough mastication, swallowed, and passed on into other parts of the compound stomach. (From Black's Veterinary Dictionary, 17th ed).
Source: MeSH 2007
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