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Parasitological Significance of Bovine Grazing Behaviour


THE bovine habit of not eating grass growing in the vicinity of bovine fæces has been the subject of occasional speculative writing, which has discussed the supposed value of such behaviour in protecting the animal from parasitism. A recent study of the free-living stages of the cattle lungworm1 suggested that, in order to ingest the larvæ, the bovine host had to ingest bovine fæces. An investigation into certain aspects of grazing behaviour appeared to be warranted, and as a first step observations were made to determine whether by virtue of its apparently selective pattern of grazing the bovine did indeed ingest fewer larvæ than it would if its grazing were entirely at random.

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  1. Michel, J. F., and Rose, J. H., J. Comp. Path., 64, 195 (1954).

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MICHEL, J. Parasitological Significance of Bovine Grazing Behaviour. Nature 175, 1088–1089 (1955).

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