Transformation of Food Lignocellulose Compounds in the Digestive Tract of Saiga tatarica: Functional and Comparative Aspects

Comparative analysis of chymus transformation have been carried out in Saiga tatarica kept at the
Center for Wild Animals of Kalmykia, as well as in four wild Bovidae species: the Siberian ibex Capra sibirica,
the East Caucasian tur C. cylindricornis, the chamois Rupicapra rupicapra, and the bighorn sheep Ovis
сanadensis. The size composition of cellulose fibers and the nutrient content were studied in different parts
of the digestive tract and in feces of 12 animals. It was found that the relative cellulose value in the saiga rumen
was higher than in other Bovidae species, whereas in feces it was lower. The most effective cellulose fiber
reduction in the digestive tract was observed in the East Caucasian tur, while in the Siberian ibex it was the
least effective. It was shown that in S. tatarica successful fiber reduction depended not only on the dental
apparatus, but also on the enzyme system of the species.