Answers to Questions Kids Ask! - Where "Why?" Turns to "Wow!"
Cows can eat grass, so why can’t we? Well, plant cells contain something called cellulose. Chemically, it’s almost identical to a lot of the carbohydrate molcules (like glucose and fructose) in the food we eat. But cellulose has one bond that’s different, and we can’t break that bond to get the energy out of the cellulose the way we get it from other molecules. So we could eat grass, but we wouldn’t be able to digest it to get the energy we need. Cows and other mammals can eat grass because they have special bacteria living in their stomachs called symbiont bacteria. These symbionts can break the bond in cellulose for the animal its living in. That way cows can get energy from grass. We don’t have any of these symbiont bacteria, so we can’t digest the cellulose in grass.
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Word of the Daycline:
cline: a scale of continuous gradation; continuum.
Born on this dayOctober 21, 2014
1868 - Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton
1926 - Leonard Rossiter
1940 - Manfred Mann
1940 - Geoff Boycott
1940 - Natalia Makarova
1942 - Sir John Stevens
1954 - Eric Faulkner
1956 - Carrie Fisher
1962 - David Campese
1966 - Bjork
1971 - Jade Jagger