the herbivores are animals that feed on plants and autótrofa nature beings, ie those able to synthesize their own food, such as algae, plants and even some bacteria.
Autotrophic beings are those capable of photosynthesis and this process happens mainly in the leaves of the plant. And they are part of the diet of herbivorous animals.
To understand a little more about the universe of these beings, the Practical Study prepared this article. Here you can find further explanations about the characteristics and the way of life of herbivorous animals.
In addition, it is possible to know some of the animals that fall into this classification and the curiosities that surround them. All this without counting in the photos and in the classification according to the preferred diet of these animals. Check out!
What is a herbivorous animal?
Herbivore is the animal that feeds on autotrophic organisms and their nutrients . It is estimated that herbivores represent 50% of the planet’s fauna.
The giraffe is one of the herbivorous animals (Photo: depositphotos)
What are they called in the food chain?
Herbivores are called primary consumers and are responsible for taking other animals, carnivores especially, the vitamins that come from solar energy and that are stored in the plants to be ingested.
They are also able to control certain plant populations, interfering with their growth rate, which is the case with some insects.
In most cases, herbivores live in temperate zones and that is why they always end up diversifying their diet throughout the seasons. This can also happen with animals that live in damp places in very rainy seasons.
A curious way to identify a herbivorous animal is the position of the eyeballs facing the sides of the head . Such animals do not need to have their eyes in front of the face, as they are not prey hunters.
Some herbivores have teeth adapted to be able to crush plant tissues, these teeth are usually wide , as is the case with the horse. In general, these animals are not able to digest meat, however, some even eat eggs and thus eat protein from animal sources.
There are also animals that ingest the food and after breaking down the polysaccharide molecules in the food, regurgitate and then chew and digest again. This happens with so-called ruminants .
Curiosities about herbivorous animals
A misconception that one usually has about these animals is that they are necessarily tame because they are herbivores, but this is not true.
Some large animals use force to defend themselves, as their position in the food chain is unprivileged. Thus, they can be dangerous , even attacking humans and other animals aggressively.
Examples of herbivores considered to be dangerous are buffalo, rhino and elephant .
Which animals feed on vegetables?
Some animals and insects are: antelopes, tapirs, camels, panda bears, gorillas, horses, bees, butterflies, among others. Follow more details about each of these mentioned below.
- Antelopes:mostly found in Africa and belonging to the bovine family, have grass as their main diet
- Tapirs:of the Tapiridae family, are found in South America and have a diversified diet. So they feed on leaves, buds, flowers, fruits and herbs
- Camels:belonging to the family Camelidae, can be found in Asia, Africa and Australia. They feed on both oats and grains as well as grass and wheat
- Panda Bears:come from the Ursidae family, can be found in the Midwest and West-South China, and feed on bamboo
- Gorillas:of the family Huminidae, are primates found mainly in Africa. Regarding the diet, these animals feed on fruits, leaves and sprouts
- Horses:can be found in different parts of the world. They belong to the equine family and feed on grass and shrubs
- Bees :from the Apoidea family, these living beings are found on all continents, except Antarctica. The food base is nectar and pollen
- Butterflies:from the hesperioid and papilionoidea families, they feed on the nectar of plants and are distributed throughout the planet. In addition, it is considered the most popular group of insects.
Photos of herbivorous animals
Elephants are examples of herbivorous animals that can be aggressive towards humans and other animals (Photo: depositphotos)
Cows are herbivorous animals that perform regurgitation (Photo: depositphotos)
This type of animal is commonly found in the Midwest and West-South of China (Photo: depositphotos)
Classification according to the preferred diet
There are three types of classification of herbivores in relation to their preferred diet. So we have folivores, frugivores and nectarivores and polymers . The first of them feeds on leaves of trees and vegetables. This is the case with certain birds and mammals, such as the rabbit and the sloth.
Frugivores eat native fruits. In addition, they are responsible for the germination of fruit plants. Examples: bats and toucans.
Finally, nectarivores and polymers that feed on nectar and pollen from flowers. Some of the representatives of this group are bats, wasps and bees.
The definition of herbivorous animals goes beyond what is imagined. This is because certain fungi and bacteria are also considered within this category, as they live in dependence on other autotrophic living beings to obtain nutrients necessary for their survival.
Herbivores consume exclusively plants or part of them , grains, roots, fruits and are very important in the food chain .