Bite, chew, and swallow

Yosef Cohen, John Pastor, Ron Moen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The processes of biting, chewing, and swallowing are analyzed using queuing theory. The probability distributions and the parameters (mean and variance) of these processes are derived. Various rules and limitations on the number of bites in the animals' mouth are analyzed. At any time, the number of bites in an animal's mouth is more sensitive to the rate at which the animals bites, compared to the rate at which it swallows. The models are implemented to data from two moose, browsing in captivity. The probability distribution of the moose bite rate corresponds (equivocally) to Poisson. Even if animals do not follow the theoretical probability distributions (as presented) of biting and chewing, the models developed can be used to test null hypotheses about the process of food acquisition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 1999


  • Animal behavior
  • Animal foraging
  • Moose
  • Probability theory
  • Queuing theory


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