Digestion (Dagg 2014, except as noted)
- Very little chewing when food first eaten.
- Quickly swallowed, partially digested, and later regurgitated.
- Chew more thoroughly at a later time ("chewing cud"), like other ruminants.
- Can chew cud at any time of the day.
- Four-chambered stomach highly efficient.
- Surface covered in long papillae.
- Vastly increases surface area for nutrient absorption.
- Largest surface area of any ruminant.
- Genetic adaptations for digesting acacia (Agaba et al. 2016)
- Digest acacia's fatty acids
- Cope with toxic alkaloids
Water (Dagg 2014, except as noted)
- Wet season: obtain most or all water from consuming leaves and dew.
- Dry season: drink at least every three days, up to 38 liters (10 gallons) at a time.
- Must spread forelegs wide or kneel to reach water while drinking.
- In some arid habitats, may get all their water from plants (David O'Connor, personal communication)