Tuesday, November 13, 2018

North Ronaldsay sheep "evolved to subsist almost entirely on seaweed – they are one of few mammals to do this"

This diet has caused a variety of adaptations in the sheep's digestive system. These sheep have to extract the trace element copper far more efficiently than other breeds as their diet has a limited supply of copper. This results in them being susceptible to copper toxicity, if fed on a grass diet, as copper is toxic to sheep in high quantities. Grazing habits have also changed to suit the sheep's environment.