Their mouth parts are also structured in a manner to better grind and rasp the food materials i.e.
Herbivore animals are those categories of animals who depend on only plants to get energy and survive. These animals have special digestive systems that allow them to easily digest all kinds of plants, fruits, nectar, roots, seed, bark and grasses.
Some of the herbivore animals names include cows, elephants, deer, goats, sheep, rabbits, giraffes and zebras. Other major categories of animals include carnivores and omnivores where the former kind of animals depend upon flesh of other animals for their food and the latter kind of animals depend upon both plants as well as animals to feed on.
As discussed earlier, a herbivore is an animal that is physiologically and anatomically built to eat plant materials as the main component of their diet. Their mouth parts are also structured in a manner to better grind and rasp the food materials i.e. raw plant parts like seeds, bark of trees, and fruits in an efficient manner. For example, they have wide and flat teeth which are well adapted to grind the tough plant materials. Similarly, their gut flora is also mutualistic to help them digest plant materials as compared to the animal prey. This gut flora consists of cellulose-digesting bacteria or protozoans. Another example of their adaptation include the straw-like shape of the mouth of butterflies and hummingbirds to feed on the nectars of the flowers.
A modern Latin term called herbivora is the origin of herbivore, where herba means a small plant or herb and vora means to eat or devour. (image will be uploaded soon)
There can be many different types of herbivores animals depending upon the variety of plants they feed on as well as their sizes. Let’s explore some of the herbivorous animals that are categorized on their feeding behaviours.
The size of herbivores ranges from very large to very small. African Elephant is the world’s largest herbivore known and it can grow as much larger as 8.2 Feet to 13 Feet or 2.5 – 4.0 meters from foot to shoulder. It weighs around 2,300 to 6,500 kilograms. According to Discovery, the smallest known herbivore is the featherwing beetle that measures just 0.0127 inches or 0.325 millimeters.
Herbivores are important organisms in the food chain as they consume plants in order to digest the carbohydrates which are photosynthetically produced by a plant; only 10 percent of energy of plants can be derived by herbivores. Herbivores are then consumed by Carnivores and omnivores depend on these carnivores and herbivores to derive nutrients and energy. Herbivores are known as the primary consumers in the food chain and all the three including herbivory, carnivory and omnivory are part of the consumer-resource interactions.
Ans. Herbivores are animals that feed on plants to survive. Unlike carnivores and omnivores, they do not consume fleshy meat and do not depend on other animals. To name some herbivorous animals, we have listed down 10 herbivore animals list as follows: Deer, rabbits, goats, giraffes, cows, sheep, elephants, horses, hummingbirds and pandas.
Ans. Depending upon the type of food they eat, herbivorous animals can be of different types namely algivorous (feed on algae), frugivores (feed on fruits), folivores (feed on leaves), nectarivores (feed on nectars), granivores (feed on seeds), palynivore (feed on pollen), mucivores (feed on plant fluids) and xylophages (feed on wood).
Ans. Predators are animals that feed on flesh of other animals and these belong to the group of carnivores and omnivores. Herbivores are not predators as they eat only parts of the plants like fruits, seed, roots, leaves, shoots, stem, nectar and pollen. On the other hand, predators hunt other animals for energy and nutrition, examples of predators include snakes, crocodiles, cats, wolves, tigers, lions, sharks, etc. Examples of herbivores include deer, cow, sheep, goat, elephant, rabbit, etc.
Ans. Herbivore modification takes place when they are adapted to overcome plant defenses through their strong digestive systems. Since some plants and leaves consist of toxins and the herbivores can detoxify the secondary metabolites and one of the defenses is production of large amounts of saliva. Caterpillars are also examples of herbivore modification who roll leaves to reduce the plant defense effectiveness activated by sunlight.
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